Note: This Ezili Dantò essay, written in 2003, was in response
to questions posed for discussion by Guy Antoine, the Haiti moderator
at Windowsonhaiti.com. The entire thread may be accessed on Black Woman,
Mother of all the Races at: Windowsonhaiti.com
Black Woman: Mother of All the Races
HOW THAT BLACK WOMAN CAME TO BE? by Ezili Dantò of HLLN, Sept.
If we are talking about who gave birth to the FIRST human being (s),
and we are assuming, She is, the very oldest skeletal remains there
is and She is the FIRST, then "How That Black woman came to be?"
is beyond anyone’s real knowledge. Those answers lie in myths,
legends, world cosmologies and religious dogmas.
So let’s quickly look at a few Haitian/African myths, legends
and cosmologies that may address "How That Black woman came to
MYTHICALLY - If we look at Haitian
1. Perhaps SHE came to be
because "one plus one is three."
No matter. Before it became a scientific fact, Vodouist believed everyone,
in their world, as they knew it, were related directly - like parent to
child - like
Lè marasa, lè mò and lè mistè;
like zanset yo e ti moun yo."
2. Perhaps SHE was the original twin.
3. Perhaps "One and one is three" as She is unseparated, indivisible,
mysterious, unnamed. As She is a mystical marriage of some of the sacred
trinities - mind, body and soul...past, present and future; moon, sun
and light; mother, father and child, et cetera, simultaneously.
lè mò and lè mistè
There are various ways
of looking at the Haitian concept of Lè marasa, lè mò
and lè mistè:
The holy trinity of past, present and future;
Of life as a circle;
moon and sun connecting to produce light;
The elements - earth, water, air,
fire - coming together in twos, connecting, colliding to build and
support a new creation;
Of everything, tree, animal, moon, stars, earth as containing Go(o)d’s
Of life as energies all connected and vibrating, molding, remolding
and unmolding on unseen planes;
Life as the serpentine movement of undulation, transforming multiplicity;
Reaching for fusion, syncretism – synthesis;
Culling "the Many" back to "the One;" and,
Reaching for Black.
How SHE came to be has never been the Vodouists’
issue. It was how THEY (Lè marasa -the male and female
twin) came to be that I learned about.
But, one and one is three. So, perhaps one must mold all the folklore
and myths together to get the whole picture? Perhaps, after we look at
2) the metaphysical,
3) allegorical and spiritual/ritualistic we shall find a fuller picture
in a way that simple compartmentalization cannot reveal?
But let’s compartmentalize for
the moment and look at the historical/chronological aspects.
The African ancestors in Haiti brought the power of their spirits to
the New World where it has been maintained and syncretized, for generations,
in the rituals of Vodun. Thus, we know, the Vodouist foreparents in
Haiti synthesized, molded all their Yoruba, Fon, various other West
African, then Kongo and Angolan beliefs; reblended these pagan codes
to fit their circumstances, wrapped it with a sprinkling of European
and New World facade, and passed it on, to their descendants in Haiti
today, as Vodun.
It’s plausible, I would say, though no one I know explains it
quite this way, that: out of primordial darkness came the indivisible
female TWIN. (Perhaps Ayida Wedo?) The TWIN had children becoming the
first parent. The first parent died, eventually becoming the first Black
goddess, Lwa (irreducible essence) – divinity/messenger
/prophet/saint after time unremembered. In Vodun, this trinity is also
represented by the cross symbol, which points to the cosmic crossroad/meeting
place/kalfou/Poto Mitan of the trinity (Lè marasa, lè
mò and lè mistè). This trinity cuts across
dimensions, time and space. And more particularly, for our discussion,
ALL peoples and all energies, everything is connected - through this
trinity – all the races (ethnicities) on earth.
Except, we know the pagan Vodouists did not, in
any way, create their cosmology to divide the world by gender, races
or "chosen peoples" who are "superior" or "inferior"
one group or gender to the other. Why would they? Africans
peopled the earth alone, before dogmas of patriarchy and racism that
I know about took hold.
So, as far as I can interpret, the ancient pagan Vodouists, in rituals,
vèvès, dance and songs, talked of themselves
and their connection to divinity only. We do know "manman mwen"
is a natural prefix before many supplications to many of the lwa-yo
for help, blessings and guidance. We also know, women were the first
deities of all the ancient pagan peoples on planet earth. But, in Vodun,
the origin of humanity is explained in terms of Lè
marasa, Lè mò and Lè mistè.
In my view and best interpretation of the information available, I would
say, "Gran mèt la" - The Creator or Go(o)d
Eye - has no gender in Haitian cosmology to the best of my knowledge
and no race is given as to the lwa-yo or spirits or living
saints. BUT, as the Haitian Lwa
(s) are direct descendants of the Africans telling the story, one naturally
knows the Lwa-s are Black also, and look like their descendants.
BUT, as only women give birth, and the
pagan Vodouist was not known to be illogical, one may conclude, "Gran
Mèt La" or "Bondye" is capable,
of giving birth, like a female.
But if patriarchy won't allow this conclusion to stick, se bon,
se bon - whatever rocks your boat. Danbala-Wedo
or Ayida Wedo. It's all good! The most amazing thing I find,
is that female and male are just accepted in Vodun, equally. No sweat.
Wholeness requires both female and male energy in ONE. Yin and yang,
Danbala-Wedo/ Ayida Dan Wedo.
Witness the most famous traditional-Haitian-Rada song of creation and
wisdom: "Danbala-Wedo se bon se bon. Ayida Wedo se bon se bon.
Lè ma monte chwal mwen gen moun k ap kriyè …"
Does it give any hints? Perhaps so.
The most salient point to understand,
perhaps, is that there is no inherent or unnatural (good vs evil) division,
worthy of comment, for the Vodouist. "Se bon, se bon."
It's all good - no original sin. Therefore, no inherent dualistic dichotomy.
Humanity - we - all came from the same
sacred indivisible Twin. Images and structures are not as important
to the Vodouist. Not like they are to the Western and Eastern global
race hierarchy pundits, who, over time, syncretized and reinterpreted
some of these original pagan beliefs and devised their Judeo-Christian
and Islamic theologies and cosmologies, on divisions, based on gender,
nationalism and race, for control and hegemonic purposes. That’s
METAPHYSICALLY: On the metaphysical
level, the Haitian elder also explains the origin of humanity as follows:
Out of primordial space, Anba
Dlo, a sound came. This first disturbance of cosmic silence/primordial
space, caused an echo. That echo and the original sound together caused
a third separate entity to be born. Allegorically
this Haitian cosmology/mystical concept is explained with the phrase:
"One plus one equals three" - 1 e 1 fè twa.
For, from that first echo and original sound "the child" arose.
Out of that first primordial movement and its echo, in an unseen dimension,
"the other" was born. Mirrored-images. That "other"
had issues, another was born of those two and on and on and on, ad infinitum.
The world was thus created. Thus, the idea every action has a consequence
is illustrated by the Vodouist. "One plus one equals three"
tells a thousand tales to the Vodouist. It also allows for the acceptance
of contradictions, in a way traditional European minds do not accept.
SPIRITUAL LEVEL On a mythical/spiritual
level, one could say, the Haitian elder explains how that first Black
woman came to be, thus: Out of Anba
Dlo, (Lan Ginen), that
is, out of cosmic space, came the first movement, or "breath"
of Bondye, (or "ashe" the reservoir of all potentiality of
infinite intelligence). It was like a zigzag, like your breath. It was
like a coiling and uncoiling image undulating, shedding layers, Her
rainbow colors along the way. It was like the action of birth –
release/contract. It was as if Go(o)d’s first inhalation had its
twin, the exhale. To the elder Haitian, overtime, the principle/archetype/lwa/element/wisdom
or ACTION and BEING called "Ayida Dan Wedo" (or simply "Danballa"
when colonialism erased the female from creation) or "one and
one makes three" represents wisdom and this action of creation/birthing,
of two of the elements becoming, of unity out of multiplicity, of the
dimensions - the seen and unseen energy fields in the universe, vibrating,
moving, molding, unmolding. Not
a linear but a serpentine path, like I explained, for instance, in many
ways, in the performance piece Journeys
of the Serpent & the Moon. Creation is the moon
and sun connecting to produce light. The elements and the energies of
- earth, water, air/wind, fire - coming together in twos,
connecting, colliding, undulating,
vibrating to build and support
(one) creation, simultaneously on seen and unseen dimensions.
Understand well, in addition to all other compartmentalization mentioned
herein, that authentic "Black"
of African is both a culture/a philosophy and a certain DNA "race"
makeup. Haiti is the first and
only modern nation to make this pronouncement and clarification at its
inception. (See the Three
Ideals of Dessalines, Haiti's founding
Ok that takes care of the 3rd question.
In two Ezili Dantò posts above:
Black Mother - she's Moroccan too! It's true" and, "Haitians
have a legacy to reach for..." I’ve already explored
why patriarchy and racism was used to destroy the Black goddess.
Now, for my attempt at the first question: A Black woman is the mother
of all the races. "What is the nature of this claim?"
2. WHAT IS THE NATURE OF
I’ve written, in, numerous posts
on this Forum, that:
I’ve addressed the Black
origin of all civilizations on earth at these posts and identified the
nature of the claim at:
|"Based on recent scientific
studies of DNA, there is little dispute that modern humanity originated
in Africa, that African people are the world's
aboriginal people and that ALL
modern humans can ultimately trace their ancestral roots back
to Africa. Africa is the cradle of civilization….."
|"If not for the primordial
migrations of early African people, humanity would have remained
physically Africoid, and the rest of the world outside of the
African continent absent of human life. This is our starting point."
African Presence In India: A Photo Essay by Runic Rashidi.)"
Yet, one of the questions presented
is "What is the Nature of This Claim? To start with I know this
to be a rhetorical question sent out for "Ann Pale" debate.
But, I will answer, again, as if I have not already stated the answer.
A Black woman is the mother of all the races. It’s not only allegorical,
metaphysical, historical, it is based on the latest, known SCIENTIFIC
But reality, to the African philosopher, cannot be divided in compartments.
A Vodouist knew, through centuries of observing reality, and listening
to the griot tales of the Divine Black mother – Black Madonna.
Creation was union -sexual, carnal, spiritual, metaphysical - not a
sterile, taking a rib from Adam thing.
on Isis' lap" was a phrase that illustrate the origin
of the crown and royalty in ancient KEMET (Africa). Then, it was the
Black woman who would choose the leaders in her society and family,
by literally sitting him/her on her lap! What we know now as the Kings
chair and crown could not be passed-on to an heir, by a male, only by
the elder priestess/Manbo/woman. The embroidered crown (feather), scepter
and royal red chair, in ancient Africa, were symbols of the Black woman’s
divine decree. Evidencing that women were originally the primary religious
figures, not the Pope, et cetera. Later on, patriarchic cultures, sprung
up because of all-male migration throughout the world. These patriarchic
cultures then took on these symbols of authority for their own, not
knowing their original meaning….
Hence, it was Manbo Cecil Fatiman, mounted by the spirit of Ezili Dantò,
who gave the scepter of leadership to Boukmann. His power came from
source – a powerful, ancient, female source remembered. ( Bio
of Ezili Dantò, 1791 and Divine
Mother: Ezili/Aset/Isis and Photos-Ezili/Isis/Aset
But, let's leave, folklore and storytelling
alone for a moment. Those "scientists" who say they live ONLY
by "scientific" and data compartmentalization have come to
agree that "all humans alive today can claim as a common ancestor
a woman who lived in Africa some 150,000 years ago — dubbed, inevitably,
uhmm "Eve." (See, the
face of Eve) . Remember folks, the "Adam and Eve"
names and naming of the "first" man and woman references only
to HIS story of creation.
The Christian politicos, since before
the Council of Nicaea in 325A.D., for instance, took the "color"
out of the Divine Mother and ultimate healer, leaving her a pale version
of the warrior mother. Their "Eve" is blamed for original
sin and then their "Mary" becomes a powerless virgin, a "Goddess"
to be used as vessel, a prop, trophy for her virtue and beauty without
any ability to give birth to God, like to divine Jesus. For the Ayisyen-African
comparative, think Ezili, Ezili Dantò - representing the earth,
motherhood, the femine principle, love, and thus fundamentally the archetype
or irreducible essence of the divine mother of all the races. She is,
to Haitians, the love goddess, divine spirit of compassion, healing
and warrior mother of the people of the Moon or the Sun
people or simply, Pitit Ginen (Africa's people) - instead
of the iconic "Eve" from the mythical "Garden of
of Ezili Dantò, 1791)
We know neither the white European nor the Arab settlers in Africa where
indigenous to the African continent. Thus, the notion of an African
origin of the human family has grown to be accepted by most scientists,
historians and scholars.
I’ve written, on this matter, in at least four posts, but probably
in others. I wrote of this, not because I am a human being ordinarily
categorized as a "Black woman," but in context to certain
points I wished to make that are essential primarily because of the
racists burdens heaped on the issues of human beings categorized as,
of "the Black race of Africa."
I wrote to say Blacks once
peopled the earth, therefore we claim more than Africa as our "place."
I wrote to say that Blacks, not whites, are the parents
of civilizations. Thus, we are no one’s children, don’t
need patronizing. Au contraire.
Most importantly I point to the Black mother because of Haiti's unique
relationship with Her original creed. And, to help liberate Haitian
and Black minds in general. To cut our mental chains and give us a means
to stop our strange associating with our former captors, where, similar
to hostages exhibiting long-term psychological problems called, the
"Stockholm Syndrome", we-Blacks also consistently exhibit
these mental aberrations by identifying with whites, our former captors/colonial
rulers, while actually FEARING those Blacks, amongst us, who
seek to end our captivity. (See, the
I point to the Black mother of all the races to say we-Blacks don’t
need to seek to win white favor, like sufferers of "Stockholm Syndrome"
seek their captors approval, "in an almost childlike way."
I point to the Black mother of all the races so we mostly miseducated
Blacks may know we are more directly from the line of the original parents,
are part of a cosmic archetype, an unborn divinity, the irreducible
essence of the original parents. So that, if we understand this, we
may begin to address the mental aberrations of Category Two (the institutionally
powerful Black collaborators (bafyòti)
to the planet's enslavement). For instance like neocons Condoleeza Rice,
Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, Ward Connelly, Armstrong Williams, et
cetera and most of the African feudal lords working for Western corporatocracy,
who, display strong attachment to their former captors/colonizer’s
points of view, reference points, automatically defending their captors'
interest to their own Black peoples' detriment. (See, the
Stockholm Syndrome) Those are the reasons I wrote, in many
posts that a Black woman is the mother of all the races. I can’t
look for them all. But one also may look in the following posts at:
Sacred Power of Words - A vision for Gifrants" : where
I wrote, among other things:
of Vodun" (at "The attack on Vodun Part 3 - Vodun
keeps us together") where I revisited references I’d already
made in other posts about the original Black mother issue. I wrote:
|"I live and understand
very well my paradoxes and purposes. Whosoever is not emitting
energies that end up killing the Black woman’s issues
have nothing to fear from Ezili
Dantò, the spirit that guides me. And, I’ve
already pointed out a Black woman is the mother of all the races.
So think about those two sentences the next time you think I
am anti-white. Perhaps it will help you decipher a few things.
For, I mean what I say, in all its infinite variations. But
most directly about liberating children that could fall down
my thighs. I don’t pander to anyone who can’t get
down with that."
3. I also wrote in The
Origin of Civilization:
|"The time has come
for us to STOP being confused, ashamed of our Black peoples
and at frozen impasse… We know the truth and to know the
truth and still remain "in confusion" is to deliberately
collaborate with Category One – the imperialist, his white
privilege and racist patriarchy."
I've written: THE ARABIA,
EGYPT, PALESTINE, INDIA -FIRST WERE BLACK.
|THE ORIGIN OF CIVILIZATION:
"…..(O)nly Black people peopled the earth once. Our
history is not limited to just the one area called Africa but
instead encompasses the entire planet Earth."
"…we-Haitians must stop being stymied, apathetic
or cynical. We could say no and empower ourselves. Knowing world
history would be a good place to start with the empowerment.
Most African leaders don’t even know Black people’s
true glorious history on this planet."
"We outnumber Category One by our sheer numbers (They only
make-up 17% of the world population) and have survived a whole
lot longer on this earth than their histories are even willing
to acknowledge. As they say one drop of Black blood is enough
to spoil a whole bunch of "whites" for generations
to come. Their fear comes from our power over them, especially
biologically. Otherwise why would they separate the Black woman
and imprison the Black man so in U.S. prisons all over this
planet, in job locations, on Islands and continents of pain
et cetera….. Our problem as Black people is we don’t
have this fear of biological extinction. We are too complacent,
forgiving, kind and hospitable. All some white guy must do to
get our admiration or vote is to drop a few Kreyòl words
into his conversation. We have accepted just survival, not quality
of life, or the treasure throves that are ours, as a people,
for the taking.
I’ve written: THE
FIRST CHINESE WERE BLACK.
|According to Herodotus,
a Greek historian, who lived during the 5th century b.c.e.,
and whom the Europeans regards as the Father of history, all
the people of Arabia, Egypt, Palestine, India, Western
Asia, the Sudan and what we now call sub-sahara Africa were
THE FIRST JAPANESE WERE
|The first Chinese were
Black (See tricenter.com
and J.A. Rogers’ book "Sex and Race and Sex,
Vol. 1 and 2 and, according to the Los Angeles Times, Sept.
of the population of modern China--one fifth of all people living
today--owes it genetic origins to Africa."
Black people peopled, at sometime, all of Southern India and
Indo-China. (See, book by J.A. Rogers entitled "Sex and
Race" See also – The
African Presence In India: A Photo Essay by Runoko
In China, an Africoid presence in visible from remote antiquity.
The Shang, for example, China's first dynasts, are described
as having "black and oily skin." The famous Chinese
sage Lao-Tzu was "black
in complexion." or Study
traces genetic origin of Chinese to Africa.
I’ve written: BLACKS
WERE IN THE AMERICAS BEFORE COLUMBUS.
|The Japanese have a saying
that a great samurai must have Black blood.
"Although the island nation of Japan is assumed by many
to have been historically composed of an essentially homogenous
population, the accumulated evidence places the matter in a
vastly different light. A Japanese proverb states that: "For
to be brave, he must have a bit of Black blood." Another
recording of the proverb is: "Half the blood in one's veins
must be Black to make a good Samurai." Sakanouye
Tamura Maro, a Black man, became the first Shogun
I’ve written: WE-HAITIANS
MAY USE KNOWLEDGE OF BLACKS HISTORY IN THE WORLD TO SEE OUR FULLER CAPACITY
–TO STOP BONDING WITH OUR ABUSERS AS A MEANS TO ENDURE VIOLENCE...
|Everybody knows by now
that we Black people came to the Americas before Columbus (Read,
Ivan Van Sertima’s book "They Came Before Columbus."
Any of his or Lerome Bennets’ books, including "They
Came Before The Mayflower.")
There are Eskimos in Alaska and Greenland darker in pigmentation
than the darkest African from equatorial Africa (See, Cheik
A. Diop book "African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality")
|We-Haitians must open up
our minds to our possibilities and then move forward towards
those uplifting imaginings, letting the way be made out of no
way. The "rational" does not include all that is "the
possible." Just because our suffering still looks "inevitable",
doesn’t mean we-Haitians couldn’t change the Euro/US
oppressive blueprint/archetypes in a short 13-years as the Bwa
THE BLACKS IN MEXICO/Americas.
|"My point is, when
I hear Haitians say they have nowhere to go. I know they don’t
know Black people peopled the earth once and are natural travelers.
I know no one has given them the vision of OUR PLACE on this
earth as Black people; that they are imprisoned within the prisms
of the fairly new, but very artificial Euro/US prototype Nation-States,
with artificial borders and Euro/US draconian exclusionary passports
and exclusionary-mostly-to-dark-peoples-entrance-laws. But examine
our Haitian and even the recent African republics’ histories.
And you’ll see these borders cannot and will not hold
the Black spirit and thirst for travel, learning, upward mobility
and for humane co-existence with all the peoples and cultures
|"It’s our glorious
legacy as the original ancient world travelers, explorers and
builders of civilizations. In ancient times, in Mexico, the
Olmec Blacks left their great imprints. The Black "Indians"
who gave birth to the Mayan, Aztec, Taino, Carib, Seminole,
European and who were in the Americas before Columbus are discounted
for this mythology that Africans only came to the Americas as
enslaved chattel in the 15th century. All over South America
our imprints haven’t faded over time. It is because we
have not been taught "our glorious history", as Mbeki
might put it, that we might cringe at the shenanigans of the
Bafyòti - the black collaborator - as feudal
lord for the self-appointed "Divine Kings" –
as agent of imperial white power."
|"I briefly recount
this world's Black history as a way to say neither this little
Island called Ayiti nor even Africa (ancient Kemet) are our
only place of abode. The white man wishes we-Blacks were "aliens"
to the Americas. But, we had
a history before these coarse white tribes of Western
Europe and their settler’s barbarity started. (BEFORE,
Islam decimated the traditionalist.) We don’t have to
take on anyone’s biological fatalistic notions, their
fear, chaos and confusion. To undo is a daily task I know. But
I say give the fear back intact. Call up the power spirit of
the ancestors. Our ancestors built every major civilization
that ever existed on this earth. Look up and remember who you
are my Black people."
To conclude, I made my statements within the context of empowering Black
Haitians, liberating Black minds and uplifting us with truth about our
place and connectedness one to another, on this planet earth. There's
one human race, different cultures and ethnicities molded and differentiated
by environment, values and psychological imperatives. If the white supremacist
mindset or the profit-over-people oligarchs, don't know the futility
of biological fatalism, forced assimilation and hoarding earthly resources,
it's perhaps because all of us, from all the socially constructed races,
have got work
In all these posts, I believe I’ve given references where these
fact may be further analyzed.
If, there are other, more reliable scientific and historical information,
that civilization did not start in Africa; that human existence
did not start in Africa; that the white race peopled the earth
before the Black race; that a white European woman or an Asian
or Native American woman gave birth to the Black race and all
the races (ethnicities); that all the races cannot be traced back to
Africa, and therefore back to BLACK. If Black doesn't encompass
all peoples and Black is not "diversity" personified. If there
is credible information out there that the European white woman’s
is the mother of civilization; that the first Madonna and therefore
first human attempt ever, at the Goddess, was white, not Black, please
I’d like to read it?
For, from reading the most informed sources and writing on this topic
for years now, it is my understanding, that DNA research, by modern
scientist, reveal the human race can be traced back genetically, through
tracing a woman’s genetic make-up back through her mothers, grandmothers,
great-grandmothers and on to the woman’s line back to the beginning
of known history.
And, that scientists have pretty much extrapolated that if this was
done, with every human being on the planet, the original mother of any
race line, as far as we have been able to go back, to date, is traced
to a Black woman. (See, Eve
explained: And the
real Eve Rediscovered.
3) WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
I’ve already addressed what it means to Haiti.
To the rest of the world, it states, simply, that the most up to date
evidence, besides all the historical works on the issue, shows that
the oldest skeletal remains found, on this earth, was a Black woman.
This skeletal remains contains the genetic information of all the races.
There's no such thing as a "pure white race." If you have
different information that is more credible than the discovery channels
two hour documentary on this, or any of the references I’ve noted
above. Please, point it out so I may get better informed.
I say this especially since I am currently working on "Ezili Dantò
in Africa before Islam and Christianity".- a multi-media project
which will look at the Black goddess and African traditional cultures
before racist patriarchy reared-up its ugly head. A work, which may
be entitled, once completed – "Ezili Dantò:
Claiming Afrika before Islam and Christianity."
I got this idea as I worked on pieces to answer M’beki’s
challenged and to show why Haiti matters. In this work, I am examining
the profound importance of the existence of Haiti. I am delving into
what happened when, after 900 years of Islamic imperialism in Afrika,
compounded by 300 years of European Christianity in the Americas, Blacks
finally remembered their Black mother’s culture not their rapists/enslavers/captors’
dogmas and cultures and used that strength to tear their chains into
smithereens, for the first time in almost 1200 years, reaching for source
- traditional Afrikan source, as its been syncretized in the best amongst
There in Haiti, my Black ancestors, for the first time cut through the
cultural imperialism and confusion and found unity in Vodun. They found
libète when they touched Vodun, their own source, and lanmò
in the other imported cultures with their intolerant creeds.
It’s worth repeating:
On August 14, 1791, my ancestors, in Haiti remembered their dark, Afrikan
mothers and honored Her culture. For their men warriors had been decimated
during years of the various invaders brutality and co-option. But, on
August 14, 1791 Boukmann remembered, not his Arab father or great-great-great-great
fathers father’s culture/creed, relegating women to the inferiority-rank,
et cetera, but Mother Afrika. The amalgamated tribes, in Haiti, found
and took hold of, Ezili Dantò who said, "Kanga Mundele"
on August 14, 1791.
They found legba, Danbala, Manman Lasirene, Ogou Feray, Atibon Legba,
Gran Bwa, Simbi, Grann Ezili. Over two hundred delegation where present.
A woman priest, Cecil Fatiman, a manbo, passed that message on to Boukmann,
a marroon warrior.
As I’ve pointed out before, both Fatiman and Boukmann could have
been Muslim converts. But, everyone at Bwa
Kayiman, all, be they Muslim and Christians converts, went
HOME that day, back to Vodun and, that, my friends, as I will explore,
has been the road less traveled by any Afrikan nation to date.
That, has made ALL the difference to modern world history and to Afrikans
in the New World and around the world, globally.
Again, "What does this mean:"
I’m thinking of not only Ezili Dantò: Claiming Africa
before Islam and Christianity, but, why limit ourselves to Afrika,
why not record: Ezili Dantò: The Rise Of the Black Goddess
in the 21st Century?
There are probably other interpretations out there, I look forward to
reading about them.
Dantò of HLLN
September 24, 2003
(See also info on: Ezili
of Ezili Dantò, 1791 ; Ezili,
Aset, Isis ; The
Goddess Remembered at Bwa Kayiman;
RBM Video Reel
The Light and Beauty of Haiti;
Haiti Epistemology ; Bwa
Kayiman Links; Ibo
Granmoun : The Roots of Haiti Democracy.)
(c) 2003 Ezili Dantò September
blan-yo mande krim. Bon Dje ki nan nou-an vle byen fe."
- Boukmann at
Bwa Kayiman, August 14, 1791
The Divine Mother: Ezili,
Aset and Isis
The herbal and energy healing, the lakou, viv and
konbit way of life that is known as Vodun
helped set the enslaved Afrikans free in Haiti (Lapriyè
Boukman). And it's what's known as Christianity and white
so-called supremacy that was used to justify enslaving our ancestors.
Vodun is older than time and is the basis for most of the major religions.
Vodun is not what is propagated by the enslavers of Afrikans. Vodun
is the light and beauty of Haiti. To
learn about Haiti's
Vodun culture, go to: Bio
of Ezili Dantò, 1791
Goddess Remembered at Bwa Kayiman;
Epistemology ; Bwa
Kayiman Links; Dessalines'
Three Ideals; Vodun
Konbit and Vodun Lakou ; The
Pivotal Point; Ezili
Woman: Mother of All the Races.
"Cut your chains and you are free. Cut your roots and
you die" (Haitian Proverb)
In reaching back to re-capture Alkebulan (ancient Africa's) non-Western
history, there is an overemphasis on North-Eastern empires along the Nile
River by Black scholarship on pre-colonial Africa, ignoring that indigenous
Vodun predates Kemet/Egypt and Nubian/Kush/Ethiopian systems, and sets
the stage for the great spiritual practices out of Kemet, Nubia and on
to the Greeks and Romans. Kemetcentricism is like Eurocentricism, in that
it leaves out the rest of Afrika.
In the Fon language, Vodun means
sacred energy. It's a path for Haitians to use their life force to extend
SACRED ENERGIES. Vodun is older than time and most
religious practices originate from Vodun.
The amalgamated Afrikan tribes in Haiti created Haitian Vodun. Its an
amalgamation of indigenous practices from West, Central and Southern
parts of Afrika. But Haiti's Vodun is a blended form coming mostly
from beliefs systems out of the West Afrikan countries, the Kongo and
Angola, where the enslaved of Haiti originated. In Haitian Vodun, a
single divine unnamable creator referred to (in Kreyòl) as Bondye
- the Good Eye, the Good God - or Granmèt la (the
master of the universe), created all, starting with the cosmic twin,
Lè Marasa. The TWIN had "children" who when
they died became Lè Mò. And, in time
unremembered, Lè Mò would become Lè Mistè
-the living mysteries/Gods/messengers/ divine prophets/values/
archetypes/irreducible essences/highest vibrations/angel/spirit or best
attribute culled from a person and the elements (earth, water, air,
fire) which make up our visible and invisible being. In Vodun, this
trinity is also represented by the cross symbol, which points to the
cosmic crossroad/meeting place/kalfou/Poto Mitan of the trinity
(Lè marasa, lè mò and lè mistè).
This trinity cuts across dimensions, time and space. And represents
how all peoples and all energies, everything is connected - through
this trinity – all the races (ethnicities) on earth.
Like the Taoist, Haitian Vodouist
don't domesticate the one God - Bondye - who created the universe,
other than to say the Good Eye is all that's sacred, beautiful, joyful,
good. ("The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.The
name that can be named is not the eternal name.The nameless is the mother
of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see
the manifestations. These two spring from the same source but differ
in name. The unity is said to be the mystery. Mystery of mysteries,
the door to all wonders." -- Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching.)
The Haitians enslaved by Catholic Spain and France, recognized the Catholic
Saints as similar to Vodun's Mistè or Lwa.
When forced into renouncing Vodun and to pray to the foreign saints,
they recognized, for instance, the Catholic image of the Madonna and
Child as representing their own Ezili Dantò Lwa, their
own warrior queen-mother feminine archetype. They recognized
Afrika's powerful warrior God of war, Ogou, as Saint Jacques
on his horse with a sword (who after the Great Revolution also became
symbol for Janjak
Desalin the greatest warrior to ever live to Haitians) and
never stopped their service to Ezili Dantò and Ogou even though
the French priests thought the captured where praying to the Virgin
Mary and Saint Jacques. This is how Vodun survives in Haiti. But
there are critical differences between Vodun Lwa which are living dieties
and the dead Cathothic Saints. (For more info on the major differences
between Vodun and Christianity, see Ezili's
counter-colonial narrative on Vodun.)
"Vodun is the oldest spiritual tradition in the
world and its mythologies have risen in all of the religions to be domesticated
around the planet."
Vodun also survived in Haiti
because it is surrounded by layers of secret societies, like the Bizango
fighters, Chanpwel and others, protecting the Temples from
Western evangelical and other encroachment. These cults protect and
distract from attacks against the center of Vodun. Many family units
who became protectors of the African way of life in Haiti, were originally
traitors, thieves and collaborators who helped the Europeans capture
and kidnap their brothers and sisters in Africa and put them into slavery,
like the Bizango family of West Africa. In Haiti, remorseful of the
betrayal, to find a respectful place again in the community and as penance,
many former collaborators would become, for centuries and to this day,
the protectors in their communities. Their practices and skull ' n bones
rituals and fierce militarism resemble and may have predated the Knights
Templars and Masonic secret societies of Europe. These cults are distinct
from Vodun, which is ALWAYS the lifting up of SACRED SPIRIT or DIVINE
Vodouist peasants are peaceful, fight in self-defense and do not evangelize.
Have not held a Jihad or Holy crusade to save souls, colonize
or conquer converts. They are also referred to as Ginen Fran.
Ginen recognize their own beliefs within the established religions,
intuitively understanding the fusing and naming by different nations
of universal principles. They themselves had fused many disparate Vodun
concepts from the twenty-one Afrikan nations that formed Ayiti at Bwa
Kay Iman. (Haiti
Epistemology ; Bwa
Kayiman Links; Bwa
Kayiman, 2008: Reclaiming the Haitian People's Vodun Narrative at Bwa
Ayiti Calls Forth and Dessalines'
Three Ideals; Vodun
Konbit and Vodun Lakou ; and The
Haiti peasants live off small plots of land mostly in family compounds
called Lakou and practice collaborative family-unit
living and collective work system called the Konbit.
The neocolonial system in place in Haiti by the Western powers seek
to destroy Haiti's peasant system and small independent farmers at all
costs. Besides the unremitting demonizing of Vodun, the US, for instance,
has slaughtered their livestock - 1.3 million black Kreyòl pigs.
And, to force peasants into assembly plant jobs paying less than .38cents
an hour, making products to export and to use cultivated land from production
of food for local consumption to production of export crops, also for
consumers abroad, the US has put in place food "aid" and preferential
trade laws for its corporations. In the last decades, US dumping large
agribusiness subsidized rice and other foods, as free food or that sell
at cheaper prices than the food the peasant's produce impoverished the
peasant, caused massive migration to the capital, or to overloaded boats
seeking life elsewhere, lost Haiti more than 830,000 rural jobs. Vodun
provides strength from source to face existing in a hostile American
The Divine Mother
The Black Goddess/Lwa/Orisha/Saint goes by many names (Fatimah, Yemeyah,
Kali, Virgin Mary, et al...), but she is always present in every story
of creation. Aset
is her Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) name. Isis her Greek name. But, in
Dantò is her Haitian-Afrikan
name. She is the original woman, mother of all the races, God of civilization,
the primary warrior Goddess; the feminine energy of the divine ONE (father-mother-child)
trinity (sun, moon, fire/ past, present, future / Lè
marasa, lè mò and lè mistè/
Aset-Asar-Heru/ Isis-Osiris-Horus /or, the all patriarchic, fragmented,
without-womb/wholeness Western version known as - Father-Son-Holy Spirit.
The parallel connections between Kemetian concepts and pre-existing
indigenous Vodun concepts of Afrika are clear. Similarly, Christianity,
in its Afrikan form, was originally much like Vodun. Over thousands
upon thousands of years and wide geographical spaces, there still remains
close ritual similarities between Vodun and the major religions including
the role of the blood, the Saints, spiritual possession, revelations,
incarnation, resurrection -all of this was familiar to the Afrikan-Haitian
and predates the European, Egyptian and Nubia versions.
According to Dr. Yosef A. A. Ben-Jochannan, the Christian Ten Commandments
were taken from the Black spiritual concepts found in the 147 Negative
Confessions. (See, African
Origins of the Major Western Religions. For more on this
topic, also go to African-Centered
Lectures by Ashra/Merira Kwesi and MovemenTunes.com.)
Just as all streams flow to the ocean, "all colors disappear in
black, so all names and forms disappear in her' (Mahanirvana
Tantra). See Ezili Dantò of HLLN's Journey
of the Serpent and the Moon; Anba
Dlo, Lan Ginen and Red, Black & Moonlight (text)
The Virgin Mary is based on the Black Goddess, mother of all the races.
Before the Egyptians re-named her Aset or the Greeks re-named her Isis,
she was also known in parts of Alkebulan (Afrika) as Ezili
Dantò. The Revolution
which created the nation of Haiti was inspired by the divine decree
of the warrior love goddess, known as Ezili Dantò, who danced
in the head of the great Haitian priestess, Cecile Fatiman, on that
famous Haitian night in 1791, on a red hilltop, at a forest thicket
in Haiti called Bwa Kayiman.
Ezili Dantò is the feminine energy of the divine (mother-father-child)
Marasa, lè Mò e lè Mistè/ Aset-Asar-Heru/
Isis-Osiris-Horus /or, the all patriarchic Western version known as
Father-Son-Holy Spirit. She begins with the beginning, predates the
Aset-Heru, Isis-Horus and Mary-Jesus relationship and personalities
based on the Ezili Dantò Black Madonna prototype.
Aset wearing her traditional moon headdress in this picture,
parallels moon (crown) in back of Madonna
and Child representing Ezili Dantò of the Ayisyen-Africans.
Goddess Aset's outstretched arms and body (the pillar/Poto Mitan)
illustrates a worldly cross grounded/wombed in the circle of eternal
life. Aset forms the Ankh with her body, later also known as the Venus
symbol. The arms outstretched combined and emphasized with the oversized
Ma (Mother Moon) headdress, forms the Ankh, the key or symbol of life/light
– the ritual "how" of creating and enlightenment, when
Lwa yo come up. Allegorically, how life/light emanates up from
the womb of creation, Mother Earth /Anba
Dlo-Lan Ginen/or, out of primordial space up through the
body - that
vertical spiralling root - to (divine) consciousness. (See
wearing her traditional moon headdress.) The
Ankh - also known as crux ansata, Latin for "cross with a handle"
- was, for the ancient Egyptians, the symbol (the actual hieroglypic
sign) of life.
Sitting on "the
lap of Isis" or "throne of Isis" was language
for the warrior/mother/goddess' right to choose the next warrior leader
- King/Queen. Ezili Dantò of Haiti fame chose Boukmann to lead
the Haitian Revolution. Isis wearing her traditional moon headdress
in this picture, parallels the moon
(crown) in back of Madonna
and Child. (Consider also, The Red, Black & Moonlight
Series by Ezili
The story of Lè Marasa, Lè
Mò e Lè Mistè/ Aset-Asar-Heru/ Isis, Osiris and
Horus also parallels and pre-dates the Christian mysteries of the virgin
birth and the resurrection. After Osiris’ murder Isis recovered
the scattered parts of his body and restored them to life. Osiris then
became king of the dead and his son Horus became king of the living.
from Granneg Latortue*:
|"If you go to
Europe, or just to France and go to the Cathedral of Notre Dame,
She had a temple right in the middle of Paris, France. She is the
Black Goddess of Egyptian religion (Isis, descended from our African
ancestors' Ezili). She is always portrayed with her infant son Horace
- Horus - Oris.
Her temple at Ile de Paris was replaced by the Cathedral of Notre
Dame in Paris, now represented as Mary and her son Jesus. Same location,
same image, in order to attract the local population to this new
Christian religion that was replacing the original religion of France.
Same foundation walls. The African Goddess of Paris."
If Haitians/Africans understood who they are. Their hidden history.
They would know that their legacy is unparalleled. There is no need
to adopt foreign prophets. No need for intermediary to touch the SOURCE
of life, infinite intelligence. All human beings are divine, powerful
and Haitians are GINEN. All the religions, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism,
Judaism, fuse observations of the world that came from the Black autothones,
the first peoples on planet earth, OUR Afrikan Ancestors. Vodun is remembrance,
Haiti's form of resurrection. It teaches we are all ONE - Ginen
Poze. The path to the spirit self is personal, cannot be definitively
taught. Revelation comes from within, not without. Vodouist precepts
and communal worshipping lifts up a consciousness that guides, points
the way, helps a person get through daily life trials. But always bows
before that which is a mystery - devan tout sa ki pli gran ke nou,
tout sa n pa wè yo. (See, for instance, Going
Back to the Source, the Root.)
image recognized by the enslaved when brought in chains to Haiti
as most like their symbol for Ezili Dantò
African-Haiti symbol (vèvè) for Ezili Dantò
Some brief Ginen knowledge:
Haitian cosmology contends that out of primordial darkness -
Anba Dlo, (Lan Ginen)
- came the energy of inhale and exhale, the male/female, the hot and
cold, Moon/Sun, Heaven/Earth, Petwo/Rada
- this twin, or MARASA, contracted/expanded, contracted expanded
(movement of Danbala and Ayida Wedo) and had children (Timoun)
who, in time, became, Lè Mò. Those Timoun
who lived their mèt tèt/purpose for materializing
during temporal time on earth would mold Anba Dlo and humanity with
their use of their energy - the highest form of which would become-
(or, Lwa yo).
So, in Haitian cosmology - en e en fè twa - one and
one is three. Sounds familiar? ONE God, issuing into three differentiated
energies but each particularization of God sharing equally the powers
of divinity, in being divine, in being God. Or, as restated in the Christian
faith that believes God is one while being at the same time Father,
Son and Holy Spirit. God is at the same time one and three. Except in
Christianity, a person must go through "the Son" to reach
God, while in Vodun there's no need for a middlemen, for we cannot be
separated from our divinity. One and one is three, but paradoxically
inseparable like the unshakable familial connection between Lè
Marasa, Lè Mò e Lè Mistè.
It is not too difficult to also see
the similarities between Lè Marasa, Lè Mò e Lè
Mistè - the twins, the children/the dead and the mysteries -
to Aset-Asar-Heru and Isis, Osiris and Horus. Or, that Aset-Asar-Heru/Isis,
Osiris and Horus, descended from Lè Marasa, Lè Mò
e Lè Mistè that inspired the Holy Christian Trinity.
of Isis nursing Horus served as inspiration for the classic
Christian portrait of Madonna and child, both of which descended from
Vodun's divine mother, Ezili
Dantò of Afrika/Haiti, mother
of all the nations/races and whose worship predates all the
world's divine mothers/goddesses and religions.
Quote from Granneg Latortue:
|"1) In Egyptian religious
beliefs, descended from Vodun - What did the Pharaoh believe in?
How did he worship?
Their main God, Horus (the Son of Isis of Osiris), was born in the
forest with the animals. Isis was his virgin mother. Osiris, his
father was an old bearded carpenter. Sounds familiar? THIS WAS 8000
YEARS BEFORE JESUS CHRIST. So any contamination of stories was from
Vodun to Egyptian to Isis-Osiris-Horus down in time to the years
2) The Christian Cross,
where did it come from? Consider this: When the Egyptian Pharaohs
kneeled before his main God, Horus, he held a cross
in his hands (Ankh),
and crossed his shoulders with his hands while saying:
"In the name of the father, and the son, and the bird-God whose
name is Amen"
Does this sound familiar? This was said for 8000 years before Christ."
The Ankh/the Cross
The Ankh - also know as crux ansata, Latin for "cross with a handle"
- was, for the ancient Egyptians, the symbol (the actual Hieroglyphic
sign) of life. It is an enduring icon that remains with us even today
as a Christian cross. The Ankh was the Egyptian hieroglyphic character
meaning "eternal life." It is an Ancient Egyptian symbol of
life and fertility. The Ankh's,
circular oval head is also said to represent the female womb. The two
wing or arm extensions represent the fallopian tube. The vertical column
(pillar/Poto Mitan) below the oval head is said to represent
the path of the birth canal. Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying
the Ankh by its loop, or bearing one in each hand, arms crossed over
Quote from Granneg Latortue:
|" It is one of
the most potent symbols represented in Egyptian art, often forming
a part of decorative motifs. The ankh seems at least to be an evolved
form of, or associated with the Egyptian glyph for magical protection."
A. Wallis Budge postulated that the symbol might have originated
as the belt-buckle of the mother goddess Isis,
an idea joined by Wolfhart Westendorf with the notion that both the
ankh and the knot
of Isis were used as ties on ceremonial girdles." The
Knot of Isis represent "the ideas of resurrection and eternal life.
Also called Tyet, Tet, the Knot of Isis, Buckle of Isis, Girdle of Isis,
and the Blood of Isis.
...It is also speculated that the Tyet
represents the menstrual blood flow from Isis' womb and its magical
properties. It is mentioned in the 156th spell for the Book of the Dead:
"You possess your blood, Isis, you possess your power, Isis, you
possess your magic, Isis. The amulet is a protection for this Great
One, which will drive off anyone who would perform a criminal act against
him." (Go to Tyet
Quote from Granneg Latortue:
|"3) Horus (the
Son) preached against the Government, had to live in the desert,
had to multiply bread and fish from the Nile to feed his flock!
4) Horus walked on water by crossing the Nile at will, with no boat,
no visible support.
These coincidences occurred some 8000 years before Christ."
In Vodun, the circle of life is represented
by the story of Lè Marasa, Lè Mò e Lè Mistè
which parallels the story behind the circular handle/oval of the Ankh,
the crown or moon behind Isis/Ezili/Aset. Vodun's Lè Marasa,
Lè Mò e Lè Mistè culls
"the Many" back to the "One" sacred
twin - male/female, yin/yang, inhale/exhale, contraction/release, Moon/Sun,
Earth/Sky. The Ankh predates the Christian cross. Lè Marasa,
Lè Mò e Lè Mistè, the Haitian crossroad,
Temple pillar/Poto Mitan and human body in Vodun (also cross forms)
where the visible and invisible meet and the vèvè
(Haitian-Afrikan/Vodun hieropglyphics) predates both the Ankh and Christian
In Dahomey (Benin) mythology, from which parts of Haitian Vodun originates,
"Mawu" (alternately: Mahu, meaning noble person to the Egyptians)
is a creator goddess, associated with the sun and moon. Mawu parallels
Lè Marasa, the sacred twin in Haiti's origin story. This myth
is similar to the Yoruba (Ife/Nigeria) origin story of Yemaja and Aganju,
parents of the Orishas. Lè Marasa are the parents of Mistè
yo (Lwa-yo.) Out of primordial space came Lè Marasa.
But the equity, harmony, balance represented by the twin energy molding
multiplicity into one is distorted by Patriarchy and biological fatalism
(racism) and its parallel socio-economic systems.
It may be said that under the planet’s current socio-economic-religious
belief systems, the significance of the Moon – the woman energy
is erased and unhealthily replaced only by the Sun energy in, say, modern
Christianity. Even before the conquest of America, the conquest of Europe’s
own women; slaughtering, raping and burning Europe’s women healers
and warriors as witches, demonizing their worshipping the Moon as a
universal symbol of female energy that match the power of the Sun, this
came before the 15th century European conquest/genocides in West, South
and Central Africa and in the Americas. This destruction of Europe’s
indigenous women herbal healers, midwives and warriors parallels the Judeo-Christian and Muslim
destruction of the female creator-narrative. Unlike the Ankh, the Christian
cross de-wombed the symbol of life. Some contend that back in 321AD,
the eunuchs at the Council of Nicea institutionally erased the cosmic
Mother/Father parents, left only the Father, reduced the creator-Mother
(Ezili DantÚ/Aset/Isis) to the Virgin Mary.
of the Divine Feminine
- the Rainbow Warriors arising like Ayida
and Danbala Wedo, together, always.
No more reductionist scientific paradigms. No more biological fatalism.
The return of the Goddess in modern times may said to have begun with
the Haitian Revolution on August 14, 1791. Except for Haiti, all the
present African nationalities are the results of colonial strategies.
Haiti is not. At Bwa Kayiman the amalgamated African tribes, gathered
together, named themselves from the echo they found inside, not outside.
Return of the Goddess at Bwa Kayiman.)
They lifted up inner power -Alkebullan's people force, ancient African-Ginen
knowledge - requiring the blood, flesh, spirit, thoughts and breath
of the African Ancestors from the beginning of time, depi lan Ginen,
and met the God within in harmony with nature and the forces of nature.
Manman Ayiti is not the product of outside projections and echoes. The
Haitian union with self has never wavered because it eschews the renting,
dualistic mentality of one perspective on right and wrong, and a fear-based
sense of separation and greed resulting from a deep, societal entrenched
disconnection from the sacred oneness of life. There's quantum science
now to show the unity in multiplicity, the interconnectedness of all
life, all energy. Authentic cooperation to self is a being tolerant
of diversity and holding space for multiple viewpoints, guided by conscious
awareness of our precious interdependence, desiring to serve the whole.
As we take into account the Quantum nature of reality, we remember that
the way we observe our current planetary dream
has a "creative potency" on how our shared situation
manifests. Only Go(o)d sees Go(o)d.
Every person is a ray of the powerful, called by many names, but is
eternally like a solar deity, the Lady of Flame, Avenger of Wrongs,
The (One) Before Whom Evil Trembles, the Christ consciousness. Every
ray is under grace, under the shelter of the moon - that is, always
connected to source, to creation like Aset/Isis as the Mother of the
Sun who gives birth daily to the sun (son-Horus/Ra). Sun/Moon always
no point where you're disconnected from wholeness."
Gade byen ou ap wè - look closely, you'll see. Oneness,
is symbolized by the Moon (crown) in back of Madonna
and Child. The parallel is Ezili/Isis/Aset wearing her traditional
Zeb Ginen, depin lan Ginen
(updated, Sept. 2010)
*Credit: Some of the info on "coincidences"
and the Anhk, as above noted, came from an email authored by Granneg
(For more info, go to: Ezili
of Ezili Dantò, 1791 ;
Goddess Remembered at Bwa Kayiman
Woman: Mother of All the Races ;
RBM Video Reel and
The Light and Beauty of Haiti.)