For the reader interested in vodou, the paranormal, and spirits, this is a topnotch reading adventure. Kenaz Filan (Houngan Coquille du Mer) is a fine writer, and the material shared in The Haitian Vodou Handbook is both accurate and enjoyable reading. After ten years of solitary service to the Iwa, Kenaz Filan was initiated into the Societe la Belle Venus in New York City in 2003. Filan’s articles on vodou have appeared in numerous publications.
First, a definition of what Iwa is. Iwa are the spirits honored in Haitian Vodou. Many critics of Vodou have mistaken the Catholic influences and saint images as a mere Christian aberration. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Kenas Filan shares with the reader extensive historical background on the Iwa, including mythology and reality of what Vodou is about. This book offers a sound working approach with the full Vodou pantheon. Those interested in Shamanism will find many interesting facts in this book. For a solitary practitioner of Vodou, or one interested in learning more about Vodou, this is a perfect book to have on hand for reference.
The book is arranged in a clear, hands-on approach for ease of learning. It starts with some words of caution and explains the roots of Haitian Vodou. There follows further material presented in-depth, such as what Vodou is today, the Lwa which covers in detail Legba, the Marassa, Loko and Ayizan, Damballah, Agwe and La Sirene, among many other Lwa. Part Four of the book details ceremonies and related information.
There is a sense of excitement which runs through this book, and the reader is caught up in its facts and material in an enjoyable manner. This is a good reading experience about what Haitian Vodou truly is, with nothing left out.
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