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Monday, April 19, 2010


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For the hill station in Cambodia, see Dâmrei Mountains.
Bokors in the religion of vodou are sorcerers or houngan (priests) for hire who are said to 'serve the loa with both hands', meaning that they can practice both dark magic and benevolent magic. Their black magic includes the creation of zombies[1] and the creation of 'ouangas', talismans that house spirits.[2]

The name Bokor can also refer to the leader of the Makaya division of Vodou (which originated in the Congo region) and Bokor also refers to the highest initiation rank in Dominican Vodou.[citation needed]

[edit] Description
Bokors are featured in many Haitian tales and are often associated with the creation of 'zombis' by the use of a deadening brew or potion usually containing poison extracted from puffer fish. This potion makes the drinker appear to be dead and thus he is often buried; later, the bokor will return for the "corpse" and force it to do his bidding, such as manual labor. The "corpse" is often given deliriant drugs, mainly datura,[citation needed] which puts them in a detached, somewhat dreamlike state. Its state is likened to being mind controlled. The person is fully alive but in a state where they cannot control what they say or do; at this point, when the person has been "reanimated" from the grave, or at least is moving about working for the bokor, they can be termed "zombies." However, some zombi legends dispense with this more rational explanation, and have the bokor raise zombies from dead bodies whose souls have departed.[2]

Also, bokors are said to work with zombi/zombie astrals - souls or spirits which are captured in a fetish and made to enhance the Bokor's power.[2] Bokors normally work with Loas Baron Samedi, Kalfou, Legba and Simbi (snake loa) plus in some cases they are said to work with Grand Bois, the loa of the forest.

Bokors are similar to the "root workers" of voodoo and New Orleans voodoo. Some may be priests of a vodou house. Bokor are usually chosen from birth, those whom are believed to bear a great ashe (power). A Bokor can be, by Judeo-Christian terms, good or evil, though some sources consider him an evil version of a houngan.[1]


Dirgesinger said...

I really like reading about the real vodou religion and not the "tourist" versions that appear from time to time. This was a great post and very informative, thanks!