Spirits in Vodou are known as Loa; Catholic Saints lithographs are used to represent them. During slavery in Haiti, white french masters forbade the slaves from pursuing Vodou as a religion and anyone caught practicing any religion other than Catholicism were severely punished. The slaves, still deeply attached to their African roots, were obliged to use Catholic Saint Image during Vodou ceremonies, pretending to be praying to them while deep in their heart they were praying to their African gods. This is the main characteristic that differentiate the Vodou that is practiced in Haiti and in Africa. Over 400 years have passed, but the tradition strangely still remain today; it is so deeply rooted in the religion that it is almost impossible to even imagine Haitian Vodou without the representation of the Loas with Catholic Saints' images.  

Gran Bwa

Posted by hougansydney.com on Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gran Bwa

Gran Bwa meaning Great Tree is a nature oriented loa, closely associated with trees, plants and herbs. He is the master of the sacred forest and also the protector of wild animals. Like Loko, he is the loa of healing, knows the secrets of herbal medicine and the secrets of magic hidden in the plants. Gran Bwa represents the rich earth that you spring from and the dark woods of life you stumble through. He is one of the loa who presides over the Kanzo cycle. 

His rites fall under the petro style of service. He loves leaves and plants as offerings. He loves cigars and drink kleren or rum through his ears when he makes appearance. 
Together with Kalfou and Baron, Gran Bwa forms the triad of the three greatest, most powerful Voodoo magicians. His colors are green, red in some houses.

 Gran Bwa is linked to Saint Sebastian in Catholic hagiography, for the tree that Sebastian is pinned against.

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