Ezili Danto and Our Lady of Czestochowa

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Ezili Danto and Our Lady of Czestochowa

Post by admin » Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:21 pm

Reprinted with authorization from the Corbett List

[quote]From: John Steczynski <steczyns@bc.edu>

[Corbett asks list: Any of you who can help with this question?]

Dear Mr. Corbett,

I just came upon your review of *Poland's Caribbean Tragedy.....*

I have a bit of interest in Haitian art. By chance, I've come upon reproductions of Erzulie Dantor. I was struck, because as someone with Polish background, I was familiar with her as Our Lady of Czestochowa.

Needless to say, I was curious to know how the patroness of Poland got to also be one of the most powerful Voodoo goddesses. I wonder if this happened during this period of Haitian War of Independence, when there were Poles there, or if there was some other connection even before this.

I'd love to hear if you have any information, or can lead me to some.

My younger daughter, who has
Multiple Sclerosis, has developed a devotion to our Lady of Czestochowa. This actually happened after seeing an image of Erzulie in a Caribbean shop window. Just this weekend, a Haitian woman who lives across the hall from my daughter stopped by to see if she was all right (there was a fire alarm, and my daughter is in a wheel chair), and saw her image of Czestochowa. She took her to her apartment to show her that she had exactly the same image, except that she knows her as Erzulie.

Again, my daughter and I are both curious about this aspect of the Polish/Haitian connection.


John Steczynski[/quote]

What light can readers of Ann Pale shed on this connection?

Ezili Danto
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Lwa-yo ap rele amwe!!!!

Post by Ezili Danto » Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:41 pm

Honor et Respe;

I was searching for a site guy sent me to and came across this heading.

More and more I am learning, based on Nekita's response here, that Haitians, especially those with school-bought education and certain "Christian indoctrinations" are absolutely useless to Haitian development and cannot be relied upon to speak honestly and effectively on the subject of Vodun, the Lwas and Haitian cosmology.

Jaf, m'ap boule. M'ap rele amwe. No wonder France is back on Haitian land after 200 years.

Wow, Nekita's complete evading of the connection to Ezili Danto of Poland's Black Madonna is classic. It should be published. That little piece about how she got the scars? O! Some wise person once said there is no shame in saying "I don't know." But to simply reiterate the same old Anglo-Saxon half-truths the person asking already knows and is obviously doubting as incomplete because he w
ants to understand the connection to the pagan Ezili Danto? To just regurgitate the same old story back at him - i.e. her image is Black because of sooth, and going even further to also give an Anglo-Saxon explaination for the scars, never mentioning the mother of all the races and spiritual liberator of Haiti. Aiiiiiiiiiiiyyy, there's a name for this sort of mental gymnastics, something close to the Stockholm syndrome.

Ezili Danto
Li led li LA!!!!!

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:32 pm

Ladies, Ladies!
I can not stop laughing, it's hilarious!
Craps, craps and more craps...
Virgin Marie, Jesus, erzulie etc...At the beginning of any story one should say CRIC,then this is my crac:
These stories are like Cinderella and all those fairy tales.
People would lave to believe there is a higher power or powers? The Circle of life, humans eat any other animals to be eaten at death._
I am wondering why the Christians, Jews, Mambos/Bokor are more afraid to die.
Pack of Craps

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The issue of origin, mythology and archetypes

Post by Ezili Danto » Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:55 pm

I believe this conversation was about the issue of origin of the myths that led to the beliefs systems. The original underpinnings of those myths, which obviously are all speculative and based on spiritual and political investments.

That one person wrote a book and Nekita quotes it is not proof of the origin, nor of course, are my assertions of the connection of the Black Madonna to the pagan goddess. If time permited I could make the argument and break it down with a mountain of "books" and facts. But to document is beyond the scope of my immediate interests right now. But I do stand, spirit willing, to change one day that deliberate obfuscation and re-writing of the world's greatest of female archetypes.

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Post by PeanLes » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:15 pm

Please, let's try to answer the questions. Is there any relation between the Black Madona and Erzili? Is such a relationship through the Polish-Haitian connection at the time of the Independence War?
I really like to know!

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Post by admin » Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:12 am

I do believe that Lynnlinn's question is much broader than that. If I read right, she is asking for the historical or mythological account of the lwa Erzulie, not just the speculative account of the association of her image to the Polish saint. I can't believe I am even writing "the Polish saint" (how ridiculous is that?? How many "Virgin Mary's" are there and how many nationalities does she have???)

In other words, was Erzulie a person, was she African, is she an earthly ancestor, a historical figure, or only a Spirit? What is the origin of Erzulie - What are the origins of our "lwas"?

If I tried to answer those questions, I would sound like a bumbling idiot, of that I am sure. But a question is a question is a question. When someone asks a question, it is because she is curious and does not understand. When we do not ask questions, it does not mean that we understand either.

etimes, we just wait for someone brave enough or foolish enough to ask the question.

When this happens, we don't want to hear that the answer has already been given.

Heck, I read this whole thread and I don't know either.



Post by Caroline » Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:28 pm

I think Erzulie was an archetype from West Africa (Yoruba and Yemanja). I found a little info to support this:

>>in Yoruba land, Yemonja is the deity of the Ogun river, which is the largest river within the territory of the ancient Yoruba. In the new world Yemonja is the deity of the top part of the ocean and has incorporated many of the characteristics of Olukun. In all cases Yemoja represents the birthplace of life on earth. In ancient Yoruba river was the largest, most powerful body of water; therefore belief held that in the rivers was life spawned. As Africans of the Ifa religion came in contact with the ocean during their forced migration to the New World, Yemoja evolved with greater proportions, and consequently, the ocean became her symbol, the womb of the world. As a result of the middle passage Yemonja became one of the most prominent and worshipped deity in the New World. For instance in Brazil, specificall
y in the African derived religion, Candomblé, Yemaya is considered a national deity and savior for having protecting their ancestors during the middle passage. Among the Orisha, she is the mother of the most powerful orishas including: Shango (God of thunder and lightening), Ogun (God of iron), Oya (goddess of the winds) and many others. Interestingly some of her orisha children did not endure the middle passage or were simply left behind in Yoruba land. In general these lesser children of Yemonja were more obscure, or location specific so that when Africans in the New World consolidated their orisha many of these smaller orisha were forgotten or blended with other, more powerful orisha. As a result of the middle passage, Yemoja changed from goddess of the great Ogun river to goddess of the ocean. With the forced infusion of Catholicism and the resulting sycrentism of African religions, Yemanya has been canonized in the form of the Virgin Mary.


This partic
ular study was done on Brazilian Condomble but the archetype is very similar as is the history. I also think its interesting that Erzulie has two aspects: Erzulie Danto and Erzulie Freda... Perhaps one is Fran Ginen (sp?) and the other is post-slavery... Interesting.

At any rate, I think Erzulie was probably Yemanya/Yemonja of Yorubaland and the name changed in Haiti and, as with the other Lwa, she syncretized with the catholic symbol. I think the connection between your daughter's image of the virgin and your Haitian neighbor's matching picture is that the virgin in your daughter's room was the image Nikita describes and the one in the Haitian woman's apartment is the image that is used to symbolize the Yoruban archetype Yemanya who evolved into Erzulie in the new world. In other words, I don't think the Polish madonna *came* from the Yoruban archetype or visa versa. I think the Polish madonna was used as a syncretic symbolization of a Yoruban archetype that was already there. I also hear
d personal accounts from Haitian who say they grew up hearing that Erzulie had appeared to the Neg Mawon at Bwa Kayiman on a cloud and filled them with the courage to win the revolution.

Those are just some of the stories I have heard. I could very well be wrong, as I am not an expert.



Ezili Danto
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Ezili Danto-original archetype warrior mother, lifegiver

Post by Ezili Danto » Sun Oct 31, 2004 9:51 pm

One e respe la sosyete,

Caroline writes:

[quote] I also heard personal accounts from Haitian who say they grew up hearing that Erzulie had appeared to the Neg Mawon at Bwa Kayiman on a cloud and filled them with the courage to win the revolution.

I respectfully add this published bio of Ezili Danto, the lwa - the the spiritual mother of the Haitian nation - that danced in the head of Cecile Fatima, : (quoted from: (See, http://www.margueritelaurent.com/ezilidanto_bio.html (c) 2003)

[quote]Ezili Danto Biography

The Revolution which created the nation of Haiti was inspired by the divine decree of the warrior love goddess known as Ezili Danto 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.

Led by the powerful warrior spirit of Ezili Danto, Cecile Fatiman crowned the African warrior Boukmann with her royal red Petwo scepter, ushering in the Haitian war which forever slashed the chains of European slavery in Haiti to create Africa's sacred trust, Manman Ayiti - the first Black nation in the Western Hemisphere.

Ezili Danto is the symbol of the irreducible essence of that ancient Black mother, mother of all the races, who holds Haiti's umbilical chord back to Africa, back to Anba Dlo*. Calling on her essence, breath, vision and cosmic power brought forth Haiti's release from 300-hundred years of brutal European enslavement.

Ezili Danto is the spiritual mother of Haiti and the preeminent cosmic symbol of Black independence, unity, self-determination, justice, equality and freedom.

The Goddess Remembered at Bwa Kayiman

There was a time when women were the primary religious figures on this plan
et. A pre-historical time, long ago.

Haiti, the first Black nation in the Western Hemisphere, is the pioneer in ushering back the reign of the goddess and of women as religious figures equal with men in performing religious ceremonies.

On August 14, 1791 Haitians remembered their dark, African mothers and honored Her culture. August 14, 1791 Boukmann remembered Mother Africa. Cecil Fatiman remembered Mother Africa. All the "Feys" - leafs - at Bwa Kayiman remembered Mother Africa. Then, the amalgamated African tribes, in Haiti, found and took hold of Ezili Danto who said, "Kanga Mundele" - Kill the stranger amongst us, meaning both the brutal enslavers as well as mental colonization. Over two hundred delegations of Blacks from various plantations throughout the North of Haiti where present.

The Haitians had stretched their heart, nerve and sinew way back to call on this authentic pagan (or the pre-Judeo-Christian, pre-Muslim described) spirits of ancient and pre-colonial Africa - they call
ed on - Ezili Danto (along with Danbala, Atibon Legba, Ogou Feray, Manman Lasirene, ect). But Ezili Danto appeared first at that Petwo ceremony on August 14, 1791 day on that red clay hilltop in Haiti.

All the Africans at Bwa Kayiman, all, be they Muslim or Christians converts, went HOME that day, back to Vodun and, that, has been the road less traveled by any African nation to date. That Movement has made ALL the difference to Africans in the New World and around the world, globally, for it initiated and propelled forward universal human rights as well as initiating the first sparks for Pan-Americanism and Pan-Africanism in modern world history. For, the Haitian people were the first Blacks and enslaved workers taken in shackles out of Africa to the "New World", the first treated as savages and as subhumans and the first to respond to this treatment definitively and forever, by validating themselves as human beings entitled to equality, self-defense and entitled to their own African religious beliefs
. For those days, as well as for today, that was REVOLUTIONARY.

But a Black nation inspired by an African goddess/liberator was a bad omen for the white European settlers who claimed themselves superior to Blacks and certainly to free Black women. Yet, the Haitian people, without arms, allies or financial resources where so inspired by their Vodun gods and goddesses and the powers of their ancestors that, that led by the warrior goddess, Ezili Danto, and after 300-years of slavery, they decided "live free or die" - liberte ou lamo! and set themselves free in Haiti, defeating all the mighty European powers of that time - France, Spanish, British in combat.

Today, Haitian women and men follow the long legacy of the warriors of Haitian independence. They are tireless fighters, beholden to no-one - heroic leaders on the cutting edge of the human rights struggle.


*Anba Dlo, literally means "beneath the ocean, the waters". It is that primordial, cosmic
space where all potentiality lives. It's the mythological "Haitian Heaven" where all that ever lived, will live and is living will end up. It is, to the African warriors who founded Haiti, the road back to Manman "Africa" - Nan Guinen, that cosmic space where the world began with "Le Marasa, le Mor e le Mistere."

Anba Dlo to the Haitian is where the great African Ancestors'; where our sacred energies, our strengths and force - the "Lwas," - those sacred irreducible essences of the Haitian/African/Black soul - reside. Anba Dlo is the sacred stillness, cosmic place, where life sources issue from and return to."

(See, http://www.margueritelaurent.com/ezilidanto_bio.html ) [/quote]

Ezili Danto

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