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Haitian Heritage Festival in Primero de Enero (Ciego de Avila)

By Grete Viddal, Cuba Haiti, Tales from the field Add comments

This festival took place last weekend (March 27-28, 2010). The following images document a “vodu” ceremony that was performed within the festival context. (Text and photographs by Grete Viddal)

Cuban houngan Tomas Pol was soon mounted by “Towo” the spirit of the bull. However, Towo receives the sacrifice of a pig. In Cuba it is illegal, and too costly, to kill a bull, as would be traditional in Haiti…

The drummers Leonardo “Lionel” Martinez and his son accompany the ceremony. They are from Caidije in Camaguey province. Lionel has been to Haiti three times!

Everyone present lights a candle which is left at the altar, along with rum, plantains, an egg, water, sweet bread, root vegetables…

Subsequently Towo rides the verraco or uncut male pig, which will be later killed and prepared under the supervision of Hatian-born Benecio (with the hat, bottom picture)


2 Responses to “Haitian Heritage Festival in Primero de Enero (Ciego de Avila)”

  1. Jorge Mata Says:

    Que lindas imágenes, en estas ceremonias siempre hay una energía mágica, es una de las cosas que siempre me llama la atención y que nutren mi trabajo. Saluditos

  2. Ethno Cuba » Blog Archive » A Hatian Cuban Festival, March 2011 Says:

    […] For a review, by Grete Viddal, of last year’s festival, click HERE. […]

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