The word “Vodoun” or Vodou has always had a negative connotation for me. As a boy I was taught to fear the word. I would never speak about it aloud. I felt it was shameful. Ask a Haitians about Vodou and you get a sense that the person wants to run for the hills. We’ve been taught to fear “Hougan” and “Manbo”. They’re seen as sorcerers who deal in the occult and “black magic” for their own personal gain.
I’ve always wondered why?
We Haitians wish to disassociate ourselves from that word. We feverishly make the “sign of the cross” – we raise our hands to the sky in praise of the Lord – and beg Him to save us.