Papa Gede


Erzulie Dantor

The Lwa of Vodou

Ayizan Velekete

Spheres of Influence:

Patron of the priesthood

Other Names: Aizan, Ayizan Velequete
Nation: Rada

White and Silver [Gordon:2000,p.50], White and Gold [my teachers]

Symbols: Palm leaf
Offerings: Rooster
Favoured Trees: Palm
Most common veve for Ayizan I've only ever seen this veve in Rigaud's book. Notice the palm motif.

Ayizan Velekete imamou segwelo, eh!
Ayizan Velekete imamou segwelo, eh!
Map brule zen, do yawe
Map brule zen, do yawe
Ayizan Velekete imamou segwelo.

Catholic counterparts:

St. Clare  

"Ayizan is a root Lwa, the wife and feminine counterpart of Loko, and patron of the marketplace and public spaces. Yoruba tradition refers to the earth plane as 'the Market.' Ayizan brings the Mysteries to the human domain. She rules the fringed palm frond that traditionally covers the new initiates' faces as they emerge from the Couché into the Lever ceremony. She is the Lwa that purifies the initiate." [Glassman 2000:55]

"In Vodoun the priest serves the loa in order to serve man. It is upon the priest that man depends for the means of controlling these cosmic forces, of correcting their errors and failures. Loco and Ayizan, accordingly, are the major healers of the pantheon. The invisible forceswhich come by way of the trees may bring either good fortune or bad. Significantly, it was Loco who discovered how to draw their properties from the trees and to make the best herbal charms against disease; and while Loco thus functions as the doctor who heals and repairs the body in an almost scientific sense, Ayizan protects against malevolent magic, and is the psychic security which is power and health." [Deren 1953:148]

"Just like this old Divinity of the Dahomeans, Her name comes from the Fon people of Benin for whom 'Ayi' means the earth, or the land.

"In that same language, 'zan' means sacred, Ayizan meaning then 'The sacred Earth or the sacred Land, Mother Earth or the Generous Provider.'

"This name is in a way doubled because Velekete is an expression utilized by the Mina people of Benin for whom 'Vele', like the Ayi of the Fon, means the Land, and 'Kete' signifies sacred.

"Furthermore, 'Kete' or 'Kèt!' in Creole always carries with it a very high intensity of admiration." [Beauvoir]


Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2004 by B.C. Holmes. Last updated April 18th, 2004.

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