Voodoo in close up
Friday 21 January 2011
Despite being widely practised, the voodoo religion remains covert, shrouded in mystery amid whisperings of possession, zombies and magic. But photographer Gael Turine has gained rare access to voodoo rituals, managing to capture the amazing traditions and present an up-close view of its practises.
Traditionally spelled ‘vodou’ or ‘vodrun’, often to disassociate the negative implications of Westernised ‘voodoo’, the religion’s rituals are usually inaccessible to the uninitiated, its teachings complex and largely passed down by mouth, its worshippers protective against prying eyes.
The syncretic religion was brought to Haiti with the Africans deported as slaves in the 16th to the 19th Century. Over time voodooists, as they are sometimes called, combined their worship with Christian practises enforced under slavery, which is why there are strong parallels between the Catholic and voodoo calendars.
Turine’s photographs were taken in Benin, Haiti and among diasporic voodoo communities in the USA, thus charting the religion's main trajectory. Her images show the objects and animals of ritual, followers in trances channelling “Lwa” (spirits or deities),and dancing wildly at annual festivals.
Most strikingly, Turine was admitted to Haiti’s Ville-Bonheur “Water Jump,” a gushing waterfall in which worshippers wash themselves and appeal to the Lwa of Erzulie.
Voodoo , a book charting the history of voodoo, extrapolating its more unusual characteristics, the influences of other religions, and illustrated by Turine’s stunning photographs is available later this month, published by Lannoo.
Click here to view Turine’s images and to find out more Warning! Contains nudity
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Glastonbury 2015: Coldplay will not headline but Florence Welch might play, says Emily Eavis
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Mal Peet dead at 67: Tributes to children's author who was 'universally adored'
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin