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Danballa and Ayida Wedo

Danballah, like Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god of the Aztecs, was a god of the sky--without the feathers. He was originally an African deity. He is considered a kind and fatherly god and wise beyond human comprehension. Haitians respect Danballah's lofty position and refuse to bother him with trivialities. The fact that this benevolent loa exists is considered a blessing. To honor him, his devotees construct sacred pools filled with the water that the patron god of rain, rivers and streams loves. Since he is a sky god, he is often portrayed as a giant parabolic vault in the heavens, accompanied by the rainbow goddess, his female consort Ayida. Together they represent fertility and sexuality.

"(In Dahomey) no human compound is complete without a building where its ancestral dead are worshipped. Dambala Hwedo was the personification of the powerful unknown ancestors...including slaves who were carrried away to die elsewhere. For a forgotten soul is an angry one and these early spirits are poweful indeed."*

*Herskovits, MJ. Dahomey; An Ancient West African Kingdom. Vol 1 NWUP, Evaston: 1966

(Notes compiled by Gethin James. )