Papa Gede


Erzulie Dantor

The Lwa of Vodou


Spheres of Influence:

Children, fertility, medicine.

Nation: Rada
Symbols: Palm leaves
Offerings: Baby goat stew wrapped in banana leaves, toys, candy, fizzy drinks, popcorn.
Catholic counterparts:
St. Cosmas and St. Damian

"Twins are sacred because they are living representations of the balancing forces found throughout Vodou belief. Together, they represent both the human and the divine, the mortal and the immortal. They form a connection between the physical world and the world of the spirits, and they live in both worlds. Some practitioners of Vodou believe that they are even more powerful than the lwa because of the union they symbolise." [Turlington:2002]


One of the ideas that's always fascinated me about the worship of twins in Vodou relates to the idea of balance and unity. Many neo-pagans talk about the importance of duality and polarity -- and the twins seem to represent the same notion in Vodou. But our everyday idea of twins is one of same-ness whereas our notion of polarity is one of opposition.

Another key idea -- perhaps also seen in the saying that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts -- is seen in the relationship between the twins and the number three. Haitian families treat twin children specially, but the child that comes after the twins is even more special.

Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2004 by B.C. Holmes. Last updated April 8th, 2002

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