Agwé

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Agwé
Loa of the Sea
Venerated inVoodoo, Folk Catholicism
AttributesShells, fish, blue, white, green, brown, oars, boats, mirrors,telescope, fish hooks, net, sailors'iform
PatronageSea, river, fishermen, sailors, sea captains, pirates, Thursday, ships, boats, wind, waves, sea travelers

Agwé (also spelt Goue, Agoueh, or Agive), is a loa who rules over the sea, fish, and aquatic plants, as well as the patron loa of fishermen and sailors in Voodoo.[1]

Worship[change | change source]

His colors are blue, white, and occasionally sea-green or brown. His veve (ritual symbol) is a boat with sails. His symbols are painted shells, painted oars, and sea life like the seahorse and starfish.

Offerings[change | change source]

Small offerings to Agwe are dropped overboard in deep ocean water. Large offerings to Agwe are left on constructed rafts (barques d'Agwe) which are floated to sea. If the raft sinks, it is accepted; if it returns to shore it is rejected.

His offerings include:

mirrors, toy ships or scale ship models, oars or paddles, sea shells;

champagne, naval rum, coffee with sugar and cream, white cake, cane syrup, olive oil;

male ducks and white rams or goats (they are prepared, cooked, and then placed on plates as a sacrifice; as king of the seas, Agwe doesn't get hot food at home).

In popular culture[change | change source]

  • In the Broadway show Once On This Island, Agwe is one of the 4 main gods that guide and influence the main character. He is declared the god of water, appearing with three other gods: mother of Earth Asaka, goddess of love Erzulie, and demon of death Ghede.[2]
  • Agwe is a character in the novel My Love, My Love, or The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy.[3]
  • Loa Agwe (together with the adepts of Voodoo) is depicted in Andrei Gusev's 2020 story Once in Malindi.[4][5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Heike Owusu. Voodoo Rituals. p 41.CS1 maint: location (link)
  2. About the musical Once on This Island
  3. Gargeau, Angeline (December 1, 1985). "Review of 'My Love, My Love: Or The Peasant Girl'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 19, 2020.
  4. "Once in Malindi" Archived 2020-10-16 at the Wayback Machine — on Proza.ru, 2020 (in Russian)
  5. Андрей Гусев “Однажды в Малинди”, 2020. Archived 2020-11-04 at the Wayback Machine