Loa

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Printed in Hamburg in the 1880s, the common image of the Loa
Printed in Hamburg in the 1880s, the common image of the Loa.

Loa are the spirits of Voodoo. They are also referred to as "mystères" and "the invisibles" and are intermediaries between Bondye (from French Bon Dieu, meaning "good God") and humanity.[1] They have their own personal likes and dislikes, songs, dances, ritual symbols (Veve), and special modes of service.[1]

The word Loa (lwa) comes from Yoruba olúwa (meaning "lord" or "God").[2]

There are many families of loa: Rada (also Radha), Petro (also Pethro, Petwo), Agwé, Nago, Kongo and Ghede (also Guede, or Gede) among others. In a ritual the loa are called down by the houngan (priest) or mambo (priestess) to take part in the service, receive offerings, and grant requests.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Anthony B. Pinn. "The African American Religious Experience in America" Greenwood Press, 2005.
  2. Ramsey, Kate (2014). The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti. University of Chicago Press. p. 19. ISBN 9780226703817.