Spirits in Vodou are known as Loa; Catholic Saints lithographs are used to represent them. During slavery in Haiti, white french masters forbade the slaves from pursuing Vodou as a religion and anyone caught practicing any religion other than Catholicism were severely punished. The slaves, still deeply attached to their African roots, were obliged to use Catholic Saint Image during Vodou ceremonies, pretending to be praying to them while deep in their heart they were praying to their African gods. This is the main characteristic that differentiate the Vodou that is practiced in Haiti and in Africa. Over 400 years have passed, but the tradition strangely still remain today; it is so deeply rooted in the religion that it is almost impossible to even imagine Haitian Vodou without the representation of the Loas with Catholic Saints' images.
Loko is the first Hougan (priest); the priest of all priests and the guardian of the deepest secret in Voodoo: The initiation secrets. He is the one who personally conferred the Asson to all Hougans and Mambos. Needless to point out his importance in Voodoo and the level of respect accorded to him; not only by initiates, but all. No secret is unknown to him. Loko is so powerful that he never makes appearance through possession; he is too Supreme for us humans to face him. He is portray as the wind and usually shows himself as a butterfly. Offerings to Loko are put inside a djakout (straw bag), then hung in tree branches. Loko is ONLY served by Hougan and Mambos.
The image of St Joseph is used to represent Loko, in consideration of Joseph being the father figure of the most important figure in Catholicism; Jesus.
In : religion