Vodou is a West African Vodun religion that has been mixed with Roman Catholicism by the descendants of the Dahomean, Kongo, Yoruba, and other ethnic groups who had been enslaved and transported to French colonial Saint-Domingue (as Haiti was then known). Join our Content Creation Academy
Vodou is a word that originates from the Fon language in the African kingdom of Dahomey (now the Republic of Benin). Vodou essentially means ‘spirit’ or ‘deity’.
In today’s episode of Obehi podcast, we are going to learn more about Vodou from a Vodou priestess who will be joining us from Haiti, via skype.
Some Key Points In This Episode
- The background of Vodou,
- Why there is a high negative media sensation about Vodou,
- Why we need to learn about the true essence of Vodou today.
The Full Interview with Carole Demesmin Mawoule
About The Guest: Carole Demesmin Mawoule
Carole Demesmin born in Leogane, Haiti has always been motivated by her love for her country and culture she has always fought for the respect of traditional values.
Nowadays she devotes herself to an initiative that aims at reviving Haitian art and bringing hope to Haitian lives.
Here’s Mrs. Demesmin trajectory.
2019/18: Carole Demesmin president of ALOVYE working in collaboration with Palec Unicef, Adra, in a big sensibilization agents the Cholera infection.
2018: Visiting Motherland Africa to organize a touristic tour for brothers and sisters that wanted to reconnect with their historical and spiritual Roots.
Celebrating the Rara for the first time in collaboration with Ougans and Manbos from different delegations making the opening of the equinox celebration in Léogâne
Realization of a cultural and educational event for Vodou children call Alovifest second edition at St Michel de Latalay 600 participants.
Carole Demesmin presents the third edition of BWAKAYIMAN celebration in August 14. 2018.
Carole Anniversary concert at Marriott hotel Haïti August 19 Carole and Friends.
2017: engaged herself in many conferences and concerts to promote the discretization in Vodou Spirituality.
2016: the creation of the organization ALOVIYE
Association Lakou Otantik Vodou Inifye pou
Yon lòt Edikasyon.
Formation of ALOVIYE Haïti
Formation of ALOVIYE CAN in Canada
Fomation of ALOVYE FL in Florida
Realization first edition “ALOVIFEST’ in Mariani, Lakou BoBwa
375 participants age 5 to 12 years old
Conference on different aspects of Vodou in Haiti Florida, Canada, New York, and Belgium with the other generation for a better understanding of Vodou for a new society Second edition BWAKAYIMAN August 14
2016: The first edition of BWAKAYIMAN started in Jacmel it is a few days of educational and cultural celebration from the 10 to the 14 of August.
Fundraising in the USA and CANADA to support the African project. Reconnections of Brothers in Sisters to the motherland Africa
“RETOUR À LA SOURCE”
2015: working with friends to reconsider reviving some of her cultural work for children in the (Vodou Lakou) with the great Artist Jean Claude Garoute (Tiga) as a motivational tool for education creation of many cultural centers in the suburbs of Haïti call “ALOVIFEST”
2014: release of her fifth CD Carole Léogânèz la promotion through the Years in the USA, Montreal, Belgium,
2013/12: Working in Chicago Illinois with organizations on a historical musical play presenting the great values of the Haitian founders call wanting memories,
She encourages and supports the “Festival des Grottes in Dondon.”
2011/10: the creation of a committee “C.D Youth” to work on an after-school program for the Haitian children that need help with English with their homework in Northwest Florida.
2009: Celebrating the 30th birthday of her performance that has been dedicated to the Haitian people.
Creation of a committee with different organizations in Chicago to support a humanitarian project to reopen the Saint Croix hospital in her hometown, the city of Leogane.
To encourage a new housing project with a private organization to change the face of the “ghetto” to offer a better lifestyle (Environment / House / Education / Healthcare).
To encourage the officials of Haiti to acknowledge two historical dates with great value for the Haitian people, (the 14th of August “the day that our ancestors swore to live free or die”.
The 5th of December was the day that was dedicated to Christopher Columbus.
This date should have been dedicated to the Tainos, Arrawaks and the Caraibes that were slaughtered by the Hispanics.
Carole Demesmin participated in the Independence Day gala of Farrah Juste a
“Tribute to Martha Jean-claude.”
Carole Demesmin will officially introduce on her third birthday the cultural flag in New York and Boston Florida.
2008 : Carole Demesmin created, with the United Haitian Artists (U.H.A), the Zepi Mayi award that honored the pioneers and those that fought for the Haitian culture and music.
She also participated as an actress in the effort of a film to promote the Haitian lifestyle in America. “Life outside of pearl “by filmmaker Mr. Jhonny Desarme
In December 2008 she participated as a guest of honor in a gala of Jazz des jeunes with Jean-Claude Eugene and renowned singer Pierre Blain.
2007: Encouraged more than three great Haitian composers to record their music.
2006: Carole Demesmin started her company, The Rainbow of Yawe, to produce and promote Haitian artists.
2005: She created the United Haitian Artists “U.H.A”, a nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of New York whose purpose is to educate and share the deep cultural roots of Haitian folklore and music throughout the world The H.U.A also provides cultural outlets seminars and concerts allowing renowned Haitian artists
to expose their talents.
2004: Carole Demesmin exhibited for the first time a collection of paintings on the pre-Columbian period at the Martin Luther King Museum in New York.
Carole Demesmin was a guest of honor of President Aristide for the bicentennials celebration of Haiti for 200 years of freedom.
She celebrated in Chicago her 25th anniversary on stage. In that same year, she started to promote the Leogane Project.
2003: Carole Demesmin set up a group of committees and gave a lot of seminars to try to reconnect the young Haitian Americans to their roots.
2001: She celebrated 22 years on stage with a lot of friends in south Florida at the “Fountain Bleu” in Miami Beach where she regrouped all the artists that supported her since the beginning of her career.
She introduced the third cultural flag of Haiti to Societe Koukouy a well-known cultural group in South Florida.
2000: She devoted her talent as a spiritual person and a healer to working with handicapped children in Florida.
1999: Carole back from her homeland to south Florida giving conferences about Haitian culture to Haitian Americans and Afro-Americans
She also released her 4th album “Carole Bel Congo”.
1998: She was giving private classes to Haitians that wanted to reconnect with their culture and religion.
1997: Carole gave multicultural workshops on the African tradition at the University Of Florida (UFL), Florida International University (FIU) and Vermont.
1996: Carole Demesmin organized an exhibition of African spiritual objects at the Historical Museum of Florida (Paket Congo).
1995: Carole Demesmin inters the U.S.A to share her vision of the Haitian culture with Haitian Americans and Afro Americans
1994: Carole Demesmin continued her study and research in Vodou temples in Haiti with the help of a renowned Vodou Ougan Max Beauvoir.
She discovered and learned to respect the tradition of African Religions.
As a Vodou initiate, she became a Manbo.
1993: Carole Demesmin organized workshops in festivity about the original inhabitants of the island (Tainos, Arrawaks and the Caraibes).
1992: Carole Demesmin continued her research on traditional and alternative medicines.
1990: Carole Demesmin obtained formal training from wise women (midwives).
With a descendent of Jeremie (Jean-Claude Garoute “Tiga”) she created a festival called “TomTom Fest” the first cultural flag was created next to the national one.
The goal of this activity was to build up a strong cultural foundation to engage the young Haitians in their culture.
1989: Carole Demesmin organizes the first “fiesta” of Anakawouna in Leogane where she united more than 25.000 people.
With help from renowned artists Jean-Claude Garoute “Tiga” She Created the second cultural flag to honor the kiskeyan.
1988: Carole Demesmin organized cultural concerts with university students in Florida.
1987: Carole Demesmin offered a workshop in Cape-Cod Mass. At the Barbara Wallas residence where she presents the value of the Haitian culture to a group of teachers and journalists, the evening was hosted by Jean-Claude Garoute “Tiga”.
She organized a fundraising event with a group of doctors in Florida and, for 3 years she kept an educational program in a radio station with them called “pawòl doktè” (the word of the doctors) on the importance of herbal and natural medicines.
Carole Demesmin released her third album “Lawouze” and also went for a big promotional tour.
1986: Carole Demesmin participated in a protestation against the FDA in Washington DC., which accused Haitian of being the source of the aids virus. That same year, trying to find herself, she went back to Haiti where she uses her skills from her study in the USA to start a new style of music and contributed to the enrichment and exposure of the Haitian drum rhythms.
She assured the promotion of different African rhythms was protected for years by the Haitians.
1982/83/84: Carole Demesmin still in collaboration with the composer Jean-Claude Martineau released the second album “Menrara” which received the award “Album of the year”
She went on several tours in America, Canada, and the Caribbean. She stressed on stage the importance of African ancestral roots in Haiti.
Return back to Haiti in 1983 for her spiritual and cultural Formation at the Peristil the Mariani by the Ougan and Ati National Gesner Max Beauvoir spend 10 years of research.
1981/80: Attended Mass College of art where she improved her talent as a painter.
1979: Carole Demesmin released in HAÏTI her first album “Carole Mawoule” in collaboration with the renowned composer “Jean-Claude Martino” which received the first prize on the international tour.
1976/78: On 1978 the album MAROULE was released in Boston Massachusetts.
Supported by great Haitian pianist Gerdes Fleurant attended one of the best music schools in Boston “BERKLEY COLLEGE of MUSIC” where she majored in voice and acquired various related skills.
1973: Carole Demesmin worked with children aged 4-9 teaching Haitian
culture / fairy tales / folkloric songs.
1972: Carole Demesmin became a member of a cultural group “Haiti culturelle“ and started her singing career with them.
1970/71: Carole Demesmin left Haiti for the U.S.A; she lived in Boston Massachusetts and continued her secondary studies at Charlestown high school.
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