jan sochor – haiti

Vodou and Catholic ritual Saut d'Eau


Haiti Pilgrim by Jan Sochor


Every year in summer thousands of pilgrims from all over Haiti make the religious journey to the small village of Ville Bonheur and the nearby Saut d’Eau waterfall (100km north of Port-au-Prince). It is believed that 150 years ago the spirit of Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) has appeared on a palm tree close to the waterfall. This place became a main pilgrimage site in Haiti since then. Haitians wearing only underwear perform a bathing and cleaning ritual under the 100-foot-high waterfall. Vodou followers (many Haitians practise both vodou and catholicism) hope that Erzulie Dantor, the Vodou spirit of water, manifest itself and they get possessed for a short moment, touched by her presence.

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