Dominican Vudú

Dominican Vudú
Type Syncretic
Classification Voodoo
Region Dominican Republic and Dominican diaspora
Origin Unknown
Colonial Hispaniola


Dominican Vudú, also known as Las 21 Divisiones (21 Divisions), is a syncretic religion of Caribbean origin which developed in the Spanish Empire.

Beliefs

Dominican Vudú is composed of three divisions: the Native American Division, whose spirits are of American origin (usually refers to Taíno spirits); the African Division, whose spirits are of African origin (usually Fon and Ewe spirits); and the European Division, whose spirits are of European origin (usually Spaniard and French spirits). The Indigenous American Division is one of the main features that distinguishes Dominican Vudú from other forms of Vodoo.

Some major deities venerated in Dominican Vudú include:

Dominican Vudú uses a different percussion, a lot of times it is played with Atabales or "Tambore de Palo", which are of Kongo origin; along with it a Guira (Scraper) is usually used. The drums are known as Palos and the drummers as Paleros, and when a ceremony in which they are at is usually referred to as a Fiesta de Palo. Dominican Vudú is practiced through a Tcha-Tcha (“maraca” – which means rattle) lineage.[1] In Haiti, Vodoo has come about and become more popular through another lineage known as the Asson. However, before the Asson, the Tcha-Tcha lineage was the prominent lineage in Haiti. Thus the Tcha-Tcha lineage is one of the oldest lineages within the Vodou tradition.[1]

Dominican Vudú practitioners are often called “Caballos”, but they are also known as Papa Bokos and Papa Loa (masculine); and Mama Mambos and Mama Loa (feminine). One who has obtained this title has gone through the last and highest level of initiation that can take anywhere between 3 and 9 days and nights as well as have spent a time working for the community.[1]

Differences with Haitian Vodou

Dominican Vudú is less strict than the Haitian Vodou tradition. There is less regleman (fixed doctrine or rule within the Haitian Vodou Tradition). There is no fixed doctrine, defined temples, or ceremonies. It doesn’t have as rigid a structure. This can be seen in the many different ways in which Caballos de Misterios conduct ceremonies and how the spirits mount a person.

References

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