Like several West African religions, Vodouisants believe in a supreme being called Bondyè, from bon “good” + dyè “God.” Because Bondyè is unreachable, Vodouisants aim their prayers to lesser entities, the spirits known as Lwa (Loa), contacted and served through possession. In turn, the Lwa confer material blessings, physical well-being, protection, abundance.
“Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti” journeys into the world of the Vodoun religion, communing with the drums and loa rituals, made by avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren between 1947-1951.
Here we follow poet Lenelle N. Moise’s surreal submergence into her mother’s passion for water, the sea, vodoun. Imagery, juxtapositions, fluidity, they haunt this reverie, influenced by unseen forces, diaspora and the Haitian sea goddess Erzulie.
For more than a century now, Haitians have trekked to the picturesque grove where, legend has it, the Virgin Mary – or Erzuli Dantor – appeared in the middle of the 19th century on a palm tree near the 100-foot waterfall and began healing the sick.