Danbala

Danbala Wedo

dambala-lwa-altar
Simple table to invoke Danbala Wedo

Danbala Wedo comes into the temple and creates the vibe of peace throughout the peristyle. He appears in the form of a snake, and those possessed by Danbala slither across the ground. When Danbala comes in possession at a Vodou service, he will be covered with a white sheet. Danbala and his wife, Ayida Wedo, are often provided with a tub of water. The lwa may decide to “swim” in the tub.

Then he will be given his food, the white egg and the flour. He will be given ojat. He will eat the egg using only his mouth. In some peristyles, four hounsis will be holding the four corners of the sheet, occasionally they will shake it and create ripples. Perfume is also sprinkled.

Danbala never speaks, he only hisses. Danbala also never stands up or walks around, for he shows himself in his form as a snake during his possessions. Danbala is also known to grant rain. Thus, he is often pleaded with during times of drought. People will complain about having the “sun on my back” and other references which refer to extreme heat, while Danbala is a lwa that provides coolness.

A song for Danbala:

Ki mele mwen, Danbala, Ki mele mwen
Ki mele mwen, Danbala, Ki mele mwen
M pagen Mama, M pagen Papa
Danbala, ki mele mwen

What do I care, Danbala, what do I care,
What do I care, Danbala, what do I care
I have no mother, I have no father
Danbala, what do I care

He is offered syrup, an egg, anisette, white flour, and white cakes.

His day is Thursday.

His color is white.

The Lwa Danbala is at the top of the Vodou Hierarchy, he is known to be the father of all the Lwa. In some Houses, they associate St. Patrick with Danbala. However, in our House, we prefer to associate St. Moses with Danbala in the Rada aspect, and St. Patrick for the Petro Danbala. The reason for this being that St. Patrick disliked snakes and drove them out of Ireland. However, Moses used snakes in his work extensively. He in fact carried a staff which he turned into a snake! Moses also had access to the Holy of Holies, and Danbala is the Holy of Holies. He is the tabernacle. This is the reason why Danbala is the most sacred of all the Lwa.

During a Vodou party, smoking and drinking are restricted until after Danbala and Ayida have been saluted. Some Houses restrict it until after Freda (she hates cigarettes!) has been saluted. Danbala does not like the smell of cigarettes or liquor. He is a very pure spirit! He manifests himself as a serpent, and is known for his ability to create peace in even the most volatile of situations.

How come he is served with anisette then? You may be asking yourself. He does take anisette in his Petro aspect. In this aspect, he is sometimes referred to as Danbala nan Petro or Danbala LaFlanbo. He is also known at that point to be a winged serpent. In his Rada aspect, he accepts only the purest and cleanest white. In Petro, some serve him with green, red, and silver.

Danbala does not associate with the Gede Lwa. This is quite easy to understand. The Gede smoke, drink and like HOT peppers. Danbala is a pure spirit. He must be kept cool.

danbala-lwa-offering
Danbala’s traditional offering – an egg in white flour