Ezili Dantor in Haitian Voodoo

The idea of a perfect mother is encapsulated in the essence of the Haitian Vodou Lwa, Ezili Dantor. Known affectionately as Mama Danto, the god is probably the country's most revered deity, as well as a model for the role of matriarch in the culture.

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Ezili Dantor

From the family Erzulie among the spirits (Lwa) of Haitian Vodou, Ezili Dantor is looked upon as the spirit of not just motherhood, but single motherhood as well. Seen in most representations as the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, an image believed to have been brought to the country in the early 1800's by the Polish soldiers who had come to fight for France in the revolutionary war, she is considered to be a fierce protector of children, and is the subject of many art forms including the visual, lyrical and musical.

Juxtaposed with her good aspect as a mother figure, she can also be a bad foe. If one is presented by a basin of blood by Mama Danto, her displeasure for the individual becomes plain and her wrath follows the 'gift' in the form of heavy, destructive rains. In her angry aspect, it is said she is often confused with another spirit, Ezili Zye Wouj, or, Ezili Red Eyes. The companionship of the two is so close that the latter became known as an angry version of Mama Danto, sporting red eyes and signaling extreme danger to those witnessing such a manifestation in a person.

There are quite a few other Ezili Lwa's, and one never to be confused with Ezili Dantor with is her rival, Ezili Freda.

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Read more: Voodoo, Lwa, Voodoo Ceremony, Voodoo Religion, Ezili Dantor, Voodoo

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