Concept

Lwa

Summary
Lwa ( ), also called loa or loi, are spirits in the African diasporic religion of Haitian Vodou. They have also been incorporated into some revivalist forms of Louisiana Voodoo. Many of the lwa derive their identities in part from deities venerated in the traditional religions of West Africa, especially those of the Fon and Yoruba. In Haitian Vodou, the lwa serve as intermediaries between humanity and Bondye, a transcendent creator divinity. Vodouists believe that over a thousand lwa exist, the names of at least 232 of which are recorded. Each lwa has its own personality and is associated with specific colors and objects. Many of them are equated with specific Roman Catholic saints on the basis of similar characteristics or shared symbols. The lwa are divided into different groups, known as nanchon (nations), the most notable of which are the Petwo and the Rada. According to Vodou belief, the lwa communicate with humans through dreams and divination, and in turn are given offerings,
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