Societe Racine Sans Bout, Haitian priest, during a Vodou ritual in Brooklyn, New York. Vodou rituals and pantheon reflect a lot of the Roman Catholicism tradition as well as African religious heritage. Haitian Vodouists revere a supreme God - Bondye - and a world of powerful spirits, Iwa, who link the human with the divine. There are hundreds of lwa in the Vodou religion, and each has its own personality, strengths, weaknesses, and favorite objects.
Ceremonies move to the rhythm of the drum; induced by sound and glitter, the lwa may possess their servitors or, as Haitians say, ride the horses. Gede is the name of a family of raucous spirits who personify the ancestral dead and sexual regeneration; the Gede Iwa are some of the most interesting and outrageous spirits in the Vodou tradition and generally, when they decide to show up, they ride the horses at the end of the celebration.
New York, March 2012.