Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bring on the Spirits

There's a saying in Haiti that 90 per cent of the people practice Christianity and 100 per cent practice Voodoo.

In the space of three weeks I attended two voodoo festivals, one in Seau D'eau, three hours from Port au Prince in the interior, with an impressive waterfall and the second in Plaine du Nord, in the, uh, north, featuring a mud bath. Covering any voodoo festival is interesting and exhausting. Along with all the practitioners, the ceremonies bring out the beggars, thieves and pickpockets. When your not taking pictures and trying not to fall in the water or mud, you're grabbing hands that are diving in your pockets and bags and threatening people with a death worse than any sacrifice. And there's always the smell. That is something beyond description that must be experienced to be understood.

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