VODOU EPIPHANY: Les Trois Rois

VODOU EPIPHANY – Les Trois RoisAmbience: Vodou musicWe’re listening to ritual Vodou music from Haiti. The word Vodou comes from an ancient expression meaning spirit or deity, and describes a set of traditions encompassing art, healing, philosophy, justice and everyday life. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Liza McAlister is an assistant professor in Wesleyan University’s Religion Department, and the co-producer of two albums of Haitian Vodou music.McAlister: Haiti’s in a terrible period of crisis and has been for some years, and its people are suffering terribly. One of the most remarkable things about seeing religious service there is the way in which people persevere and triumph artistically in the midst of tremendous suffering.This month, Haitians celebrate Epiphany, a Catholic holiday commemorating the arrival of the Three Kings into Bethlehem to visit the Christ child. Dr. McAlister shares her experience of Vodou Epiphany in the spiritual compound of Lakou Badjo in Haiti.McAlister: It’s stunning to go there and witness the tremendous trials and tribulations that people have to undergo just to feed themselves and their children every day.And yet by the time they pulled themselves together for the ceremony, they turned themselves into royalty. They came in wearing full white dress. They entered the room, began to sing with such dignity and grace, that they were really the sons and daughters of kings and queens that were entering, to in turn salute the Three Kings who came to visit the baby Jesus. It was a moment I’ll never forget, the starting up of that ceremony, and realizing that I was in the presence of royalty.We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast.

VODOU EPIPHANY: Les Trois Rois

Haitian Vodou is a source of strength and solace to its followers, in the face of widespread poverty and despair.
Air Date:01/09/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

VODOU EPIPHANY - Les Trois RoisAmbience: Vodou musicWe're listening to ritual Vodou music from Haiti. The word Vodou comes from an ancient expression meaning spirit or deity, and describes a set of traditions encompassing art, healing, philosophy, justice and everyday life. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Liza McAlister is an assistant professor in Wesleyan University's Religion Department, and the co-producer of two albums of Haitian Vodou music.McAlister: Haiti's in a terrible period of crisis and has been for some years, and its people are suffering terribly. One of the most remarkable things about seeing religious service there is the way in which people persevere and triumph artistically in the midst of tremendous suffering.This month, Haitians celebrate Epiphany, a Catholic holiday commemorating the arrival of the Three Kings into Bethlehem to visit the Christ child. Dr. McAlister shares her experience of Vodou Epiphany in the spiritual compound of Lakou Badjo in Haiti.McAlister: It's stunning to go there and witness the tremendous trials and tribulations that people have to undergo just to feed themselves and their children every day.And yet by the time they pulled themselves together for the ceremony, they turned themselves into royalty. They came in wearing full white dress. They entered the room, began to sing with such dignity and grace, that they were really the sons and daughters of kings and queens that were entering, to in turn salute the Three Kings who came to visit the baby Jesus. It was a moment I'll never forget, the starting up of that ceremony, and realizing that I was in the presence of royalty.We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast.