The essential is not to make the peasant renounce his belief in Ogoun
. It is rather a question of completely changing his conception of the word ...
his favorite lwa, the militant Ogoun
, possessed Djon during a dans and
In describing a particular evening ritual, Hurston describes Ogoun
as "all in blazing red from head to foot" and goes on to say that he "rushed forward, put on the fez, seized the sword, and challenged Joswee fiercely....At a point, both lowered their blades and Ogoun
planted a ceremonial kiss on the brow of Joswee.
Selections include "Ogoun
Badagris" by Christopher Rouse; "Forest Rain" by Niel DePonte; "Streams" by Warren Benson; and "4/4 for Four" by Anthony Cirone.
According to Clinton, Ogoun
had been the Ironmaker in Africa, a gentleman-warrior and a doctor, but the journey to the Americas transformed the spirit so that now "Ogoun
was the guerrilla warrior of hit-and-run scorched earth and no prisoners" (417).
I'm told that the number of people in the United States at the moment who believe in the literal truth of the biblical Book of Revelation exceeds the number of people who lived in all of medieval Christendom, and in a newspaper the other day I noticed that a voodoo priestess in New Orleans by the name of Sallie Ann Glassman was seeking to rid the city of crack cocaine through the good offices of Ogoun
La Flambeau, a god of war and fire, whom she had summoned from the forests with an offering of rum, gunpowder, and old graveyard dirt.
I in a sense am sent to return to myself what you both give me: speech, shafts of canelight, a green silver feather, my ancestories coming to be born here again: planter & slave, Ogoun
& buffalo, Newstead & Neustadt spiritdances of the native crossroads
He is, in addition, an incarnate threshold, the site of the union of Africa, Haiti, and Harlem, welding history to myth, evoking the warrior-god, Ogoun
, while above him, a little wooden "Erzulie ship" hangs from the ceiling.
(When I arrived at Beauvoir's temple, he appeared to be possessed by Ogoun
, the god of warriors whose symbol is fire; the participants at the ceremony knew which god had possessed him because of the dance he was performing.) Voudon is a "danced religion." Beauvoir, the president of the National Body of Voudonists, explained that "in voudon we sacrifice to the gods, but the top sacrifice is dance.