Where: Haiti, Port-au-Prince
People: Haitians (descendants of african slaves)
Religion: Vodou (mix of african traditions/religions and catholicism)
During the Dessounin ritual the spirit Damballah is extracted from a 23 year old dead Mambo (Vodou).
Before being a full member of the Vodou society in Haiti, a special inauguration ceremony is held. During this ceremony the chosen person is possessed by one of the Vodou spirits which then become the persons guardian angel.Continue reading...
After death, it is important to perform the Dessounin ritual where the spirit of the dead person is segregated from the body before the funeral. If this is not done, there is a chance that the spirit will become a ghost that hunts the living. This was a big problem after the earthquake in 2010, where many people was buried in mass graves before the necessary rituals was performed.
After the extraction, the spirit is kept in a Calabaza with hair and nails from the dead person. It is then used for various Vodou rituals, like praying for a good harvest or a good health.