Often relegated to tabloid news coverage, the Afro-Caribbean religions, such as Santeria, Palo Mayombe, Palo Monte, and Vodoun, are some of the most beautiful and complex spiritual paths that can be found in the world. They have been forged in the sorrow, pain and violence of our colonial history, tempered with the hopes and joys that can only come from true perseverance. It’s unfortunate that when we hear about them their beauty is usually obscured by patronizing, inept journalism, or, more frequently, by fear mongering, thinly veiled racism.
Maya Deren’s seminal work, The Divine Horsemen, was my first encounter with the depth of the Haitian tradition of Vodoun, and I’ll never forget how it changed my view of life. More recently I’ve enjoyed the work of Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, an anthropologist, Palero, and Vodoun initiate, whose works on Quimbanda and Palo Mayombe are published by Scarlet Imprint.… Read the rest