Informative Speech Essay

Submitted By 37000373
Words: 755
Pages: 4

How voodoo started
Voodoo is a religion that was brought to the Western coasts by slaves from Africa. It is
believed to have started in Haiti in 1724 as a snake cult that worshipped many spirits
pertaining to daily life experiences. The practices were intermingled with many Catholic rituals
and saints. It was first brought to the Louisiana area in 1804 by Cuban plantation owners who
were displaced by revolution and brought their slaves with them.

Beliefs
At first glance, it seems that a religion that revolves around spiritual possession, potions, and
the worship of ancestors would have little to do with Christianity. However, there are strong
parallels; in the case of Louisiana and Haitian voodoo, many Christian traditions, beliefs, and
figures have been
incorporated
into this flexible religion. The spirits are central to the practice
of voodoo, and many of the central figures have Christian counterparts.
Aida Wedo is a virginal figure of Mary, while Legba, the guardian gatekeeper, is a mirror
image of St. Peter. In voodoo, important spirits that believers connect with are called the loa
(or lwa); in some locations, these loa and their families can be called by the names of the
Catholic saints they represent. In West African voodoo, there is a very Christian belief that
there is
one supreme god
ruling all.
Rituals
A voodoo ritual can be performed whenever the voodoo rituals feels necessary, for special
occasions, or in the privacy of individual homes or communities. Voodoo rituals can also be
performed by a single person, by the entire organization, even by a small group of voodoo
friends. Voodoo rituals may be restricted in certain parts of the community or town and can
encourage or underscore the passages between the voodoo religious or voodoo social
states.

The purposes of rituals are varied; they include compliance with religious obligations or
ideals, satisfaction of spiritual or emotional needs of the practitioners, strengthening of social
bonds, demonstration of respect or submission, stating one's affiliation, obtaining social
acceptance or approval for some event — or, sometimes, just for the pleasure of the ritual
itself.

Rituals of various kinds are a feature of almost all known human societies, past or present.
They include not only the various worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and
cults, but also the rites of passage of certain societies, oaths of allegiance, coronations, and
presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations,
club meetings, sports events, Halloween parties, veteran parades, Christmas shopping and
more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials,
execution of criminals, and scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions

prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common
actions like hand­shaking and saying hello are rituals.

In any case, an essential feature of a ritual is that the actions and…