Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2014

Department 1

Africana Studies


Ever since the night of August 14, 1791 at Bwa Kayman, where Boukman Dutty declared war on the French during a Vodou ritual, Vodou has shown its dominance in the Haitian culture (Dominique 103). Along with being a religion practiced across the class boundaries of over six million Haitians, Vodou is a philosophy as well; a way of life for the majority of Haiti. Vodou “brings coherence where there might otherwise be chaos” (Michel 282-283). Used as a common ground for the intermixed Africans in the New World, Vodou has played a key role in the daily life of the Haitian population since its origination. Held anywhere from Haiti to Brooklyn, Vodou’s popularity still remains today. Evident in its history, characteristics, emphasis on service, worship of the lwas, communal expectations, and oral performance: Vodou is a vital aspect of Haitian life, past and present; Vodou is simply not just a religion. [excerpt]


Recipient of the 2014 Toni Morrison & Wole Soyinka Africana Studies Essay Award