The Dead: Baron, Brijit and Gede
Gede in possession above
Table Prepared to serve GedeAll about our 2006 Fet Gede feast here
|Some of the most interesting Lwa!
The Gede Lwa are some of the most interesting, funny, and outrageous spirits in the Vodou tradition. Their leader, known to them as their father, is Baron Semetye. Baron is the head of the cemetery and he rules over it with his wife, Maman Brijit.
Every Cemetery has its own Baron and Brijit and these are identified by certain tombs. The first male buried in a cemetery is a Baron and the first female a Brijit. In Haiti, crosses will be erected for each one at that tomb. People needing to commission them thus go to the cross.
There are several different Baron Lwa, some more common than others: Baron Lakwa (the cross), Baron Semetye (cemetery), and Baron Samedi. Barons are judges. When you leave your problems at the foot of Baron, you can be assured that he will seek out the innocent.
Baron and Brijit serve as the father and mother of the family of Lwa known as the Gede. This unit is considered a family unit rather than the other groups of Lwa, who are known as nations. There are many hundreds and hundreds of Gede lwa, if not thousands, and they are always the life of the party.
The Gede Lwa dance the banda. The banda is a very crude dance that mimes sexual intercourse. The Gede are vulgar and are known to cuss and play fight. There are many personal Gedes out there, as well as root (racine) Gedes. By far the most known and honored of these root Gedes is Brav Gede Nibo.
Gede’s feast day is November 2nd, see link on left, also known as All Souls in the Catholic church. During this feast, Gede prance the streets in Haiti, ceremonial processions are held, and hundreds of people become possessed by the Gedes. See a slideshow of the latest one below. This party is a ball!