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"Racial origin of loa has played a fundamental part in their classification. Most if not all of the Dahomean or Nigerian loa have been placed automatically in the rada group. The petro group also contains many African deities (Simbi etc.) but these usually come from some other part of Africa than ancient Dahomey. The majority of the aboriginal spirits, whose creol names suggest a more or less recent  accession to the Voodoo pantheon, are also regarded as petro ...Today, the racial and geographical   nature of the classification has been forgotten. The difference is marked more by the characteristics attributed to the loa of the two groups...Voodoo has a Legba rada and a Legba petro. Legba petro ia apparently 'stiffer', more violent than his rada alter ego...The petro loa are specialists in magic. All charms come under their control...Everything that has to do with petro is shadowed with doubt and inspires fear. The Simbi, of their very nature, belong to the rada , but they are served in the petro rite since, neglected by their devotes and gnawed by hunger, they tend to turn cruel. "*

*Alfred Métraux. Voodoo in Haiti. Schòcken Books, New York: 1959 (Trans. by Hugo Charteris)

Simbi. (Simba, Simbe, Simbi Andezo), lives in springs and rivers, and is guardian of the fountains and marshes. This loa cannot do without the freshness of water. They say that children who go to fetch water at springs run the risk--particularly if they are fair-skinned--of being kidnapped to work for him under the water for a few years. Their 'wages' are the gifts of second sight. Simbi is a knowledgeable loa and nows a great deal about the nature of illnesses of supernatural origin and how to treat them. Again, Simbi is either with you or against you, protecting those who have good relations with him and turning his back on those who do not. As part of Ogu's forces, he is the chief of the coastguard and goes wherever he likes. (Notes compiled by Gethin James)