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. They have their own personal likes and dislikes, songs, dances, ritual symbols (Veve), and special modes of service.
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.
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