haitian culture

anonymous asked:

So i was talking to a white witch about Haitan Vodou and they were promoting that white people should be able to practice it, after a long dicussion their conclusion to my points were "i hate white people" and that it's basically okay to summon the ancestors of oppressed people by the oppressors because "not all white people have oppressive ancestors"

Originally posted by crashthefandoms

If those white people have ancestors that weren’t oppressive (which is possible but very unlikely), then there is a chance they came from across the sea on their own and not with Columbus and them, meaning their people came from europe, and there are plenty of religions there. And even if they’re ancestors lived through slavery times and never bought a slave, that still doesn’t give them the right to practice. White people always try to twist things so that it can be ok in their eyes to do whatever they want.

In conclusion, remember white witches, 🗣Just because you contact your ancestors does not mean it is vodou  🗣and 🗣Don’t contact our ancestors, they are not your ancestors, they are ours 🗣

(White witches also forget that our ancestors are petty, they will listen to you and say hi and all that, and then fuck your shit up. Don’t try it)

There is a Haitian saying that might upset the aesthetic sensibilities of some women. ‘Nou lèd, nou la,’ it says. 'We are ugly, but we are here.’ Like the modesty that is common in rural Haitian culture, this saying makes a deeper claim for poor Haitian women than maintaining beauty, be it skin-deep or otherwise. For women like my grandmother, what is worth celebrating is the fact that we are here, that against all odds, we exist.
—  Edwidge Danticat, “We Are Ugly, but We Are Here,” Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean 

The gag is there wouldn’t have even been a Louisiana Purchase without Haiti. There would not have been a revival of the unique culture in Louisiana if not for Haitian immigrants resettling here because it was slowly dying out. New Orleans would have not been anything close to what is if not for the blending of Creole and Haitian culture. Many came here, led massive slave rebellions, and become state icons (i.e. Charles Deslondes). So y'all really have to read before you throw your diaspora hot takes out there.

Haiti’s Influence on Louisiana

Haitians are the dominant Creole culture of New Orleans. Currently there are 5,000 people of Haitian descent that live in the New Orleans area. 

In 1709 (dayiti: I believe the author means 1791 because that’s when the Revolution started) after the Haitian Revolution that ended French rule and gave Haiti its independence 90% of the Hatian refugees settled in New Orleans. The immigration of Haitians, both white and free people of color (gens de couleur libres) brought 2,731 whites, 3,102 free persons of African descent and 3,226 slaves to the city. This one event doubled the population of New Orleans in one year and had an important social and cultural impact on Creole Louisiana that still influences it to this day.

The Hatian Creole population settled in the French Quarter and brought a distinct culture and architectural tradition giving New Orleans a reputation as the nation’s Creole Capital. They brought with them what was to become the rhythm and soul of New Orleans. The Crescent City would not be what it is today without these contributions.

Haitians played a major role in the development of Creole cuisine, the perpetuation of voodoo practices and preserving the city’s French character. Among the most notable Haitians in New Orleans history were; the pirate Jean Lafitte born in Port-au-Prince around 1782. Marie Laveau, the undisputed Queen of Voodoo (dayiti: Her portrait is above), born in [Saint Domingue] in 1794.

anonymous asked:

I've been seeing a lot of posts about people talking about cultural appropriation in magic. Is it not acceptable to use practices from any other culture, even if to just learn? Like people saying non blacks shouldn't do any hoodoo or voodoo. Non native Americans shouldn't use any native American practices, etc.

So, this is a complex question. 

At base, cultural appropriation is about power dynamics in that a majority group (most often white and/or European folks) hold power over minority groups in any number of arenas–social, economic, professional, legal, religious–and utilize that power by adapting and adopting what they think is most useful to them from that minority group. In a religious or magical sense, it’s an outsider taking from a religious or magical practice they have no grounding in or license in, and using it for their own gain. 99% of the time, this is gain in the form of financial gain; someone creates objects or offers services they have no business dealing in, and try to claim legitimacy of practice because their intent is pure/clean, etc.

Is it not acceptable to use practices from any other culture, even if to just learn?

If we operate from a place of truth and recognize that practices from culturally-based magical and/or religious traditions have culture and learning woven into those practices, then no, it is not acceptable, and here’s why: for practices that come from a culturally-based environment, there are very specific reasons why certain things are done certain ways and those reasons are a) specific to that practice, b) are passed from teacher to student within that practice, and c) make no sense and/or cannot be created outside of that environment.

With that in mind, it is impossible to learn from those practices without going to the source. I can teach you how make lamp wicks how my mother taught me to make them based on how our spirits and tradition dictate the process, but if you aren’t operating in that setting, it won’t mean anything to you and it won’t carry the same weight. I can teach you how to trace a veve, but if you don’t have the ritual heat in your hands and the ritual license on your head to trace one, you are just messing with powders in pretty patterns with no purpose or reason. If you aren’t serving the spirits we do it for, the ritual turns and motions we use in ceremony are empty and mean nothing. If you haven’t gone through the process to earn the knowledge and learn how to use it, it’s empty–there’s nothing to learn in it because the learning doesn’t exist without the process.

To flip that, it would be the same as me trying to bring outside practices into vodou because I know they work in other settings. Like, if I busted out (for example) a Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram in the middle of a ceremony because something was not going right or brought out some black tourmaline because a spirit told me I needed to work some healing on my digestive track, it would be super foreign and incredibly awkward and the spirits (nevermind the people) would squint at me because we have the tools to do all that without going elsewhere.

If the problem is that you don’t have tools to do what you need to do, there are three options: find the tools in a way that isn’t taking from a minority practice, go to the minority practice that has the tools you think you need and see if you can be taught, or decide that tools are nonsense and avoid the whole mess. A need for learning or a desire for knowledge doesn’t create the open door for license to pick and choose.

And, in that way, picking up things from practices/religions that have a gate to pass through without going through the right channels is inherently dangerous. There are reasons why folks in culturally-based religions say, over and over, that you need a priest that you develop a relationship with to instruct you. Cherrypicking is dangerous and the magic and spirits that speak in a culturally-based religion are not cuddly. They take offense and they strike back. They don’t like everyone and they can be pretty damn unforgiving of mistakes, even ones that are done unknowingly. Mistakes can carry real life, life threatening consequences, and I don’t know one priest in my religion that hasn’t had a client show up with terrible consequences laid on them because of mistakes made in some respect. People get what they get as a result of their actions, but no priest celebrates that or wants to go deal with angry, potentially murderous spirits. If you don’t have the instruction to act in a responsible manner and are just picking what looks good and useful, then you run the risk of ending up as one of those people.

Like people saying non blacks shouldn’t do any hoodoo or voodoo. Non native Americans shouldn’t use any native American practices, etc.

Generally, people feel all kinds of ways about majority individuals being involved in minority religions. Native Americans as a whole have made it pretty clear that they do not appreciate non-Natives ripping pieces out of their religious practices and passing it off as authentic Native stuff. I know non-Natives who are involved in Native American religious practices in a legitimate manner, which involved years of study and out and out grunt work to prove that they were not the same as every other basic white person at Coachella with a ‘war bonnet’ and a ‘spirit animal’.

Many African-Americans feel strongly about non-African-Americans utilizing conjure/hoodoo, and that is largely because some white folks are so damn awful about it–ripping what looks like it will serve their needs and then throwing whatever else on top of it (crystals in mojo hands, a honey jar for every occasion, invoking Wiccan concepts, etc) before turning it out to sell and make a profit. There are ways to engage in conjure work as a non-African-American, but it’s less about magical skill and ability and more about unpacking systemic racism, working on your inherent white supremacy, and not trying to be the loudest voice in the community.

Regarding vodou, vodou is a Haitian religion and is attached to a culture, versus being attached to a skin tone. White folks in vodou have a TON of work to do around unpacking whiteness and learning how to move in a culture where whiteness and white people are not the center of attention or the center of the universe. A lot of folks who are not in the religion have a lot of feelings about that. 

At base, cultural appropriation speaks to HOW knowledge is accessed or attempted to be accessed. Appropriation is thinking you can take or learn something because it is there, versus going through the actual process that exists to learn these things. Unfortunately, an unpleasant amount of majority/white/European folks want easy access when, in minority culturally-based religions, there is no easy anything.

The Haitian setting,The Caribbean vibes,Rihanna,Bryson,The Santana sample

Originally posted by pjgangstress