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An American Vodou House

Sosyete du Marche, Inc’s Library

The GEDE of Vodou: Rude, Crude and Loveable

The origins of the major lwa in this family are obscure. In Dahomey,  the Gedevi were the aboriginal people of the Ahbomey plane who were  displaced by the invading Fon. True to Fon religious ideals, the Gede  ancestors were incorporated into their theology as the "lords of the  earth", and thereby lords of the dead who are buried within the earth. As many of the Gedevi were taken to Haiti as slaves during the Middle  Passage, it is not hard to see how Gede attained his position in Haitian Vodou.  This information can be found in Roger Bastide, "African  Civilisations in the New World." Translated from the French by Peter  Green, with a foreword by Geoffrey Parrinder.1971 p.140.

Bastide says that the Gede were a category of divinities  brought into Dahomey when they conquered the Guede-vi people, making  them their grave-digging caste.  Later they were sold off as slaves  because the Fon feared their magical powers.

The Gedes include Baron, Brigette and Gede Nibo. Their colors are funeral in style, with black  and purple the dominant colors, and some white added in.







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