Agweta Oyo

Agweta is the Haitian god of the sea and ships. The loa belongs to the Haitian trinity which includes Damballah and Ogoun. The ceremonial honoring of Agweta incorporate many elements of Voodoo ritual. Worshipers build a ceremonial raft decorated with brilliantly painted symbols such as sea-shells, fishes, and especially a mermaid also known as La Sirene who is an ocean-related variation of Ezili the goddess of love. Paintings of symbols representing Damballah, Ogoun, and Ayida also adorn the raft. On the eve of the feast-day the faithful engage in songs and the sounding of conch shells. Early next day the raft and a second craft containing drums, are transported to the beach along with a ram and sacrificial chickens. The raft is filled with food and drink, and the chickens are sacrificed and added to the cargo. A ram, painted blue, is thrown into the sea. The raft, filled with offerings, is pulled out to sea and eventually set adrift to sink. Songs of joy accompany the sinking since it symbolizes Agweta's acceptance of the offering.