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Rhythmic drumming forms an essential musical accompaniment to all vodou ceremonies. Each of the lwa, the spirits, has his or her own rhythm. There are slow rhythms for the cool Rada lwa and fast rhythms for the hot Petro lwa. Drumming stimulates the dancers and helps them to enter into a trance. The drums invoke the lwa to descend to the temple. Different drums are used in different rituals. The largest, assoto, are only employed in the most important ceremonies. They are then consecrated and given a specific name. Only the best drummers are allowed to play these drums. The spirit of the drums, hountor, takes possession of these master drummers.
© Photo: Haupt & Binder
The belief in Iwa; vodou temples and altars. Flags, figures and other ritual objects and their use in the cult.