Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Lwa (the word is also often spelled Loa) are the secondary divinities of the Vodu religion as practiced in Haiti. The Lwa are also referred to as Les Mystères, Les Invisibles, Mistik , or, simply, Vodu . They are spirits of human or divine origin who were created by Bondye or Granmèt, the Supreme Being of Vodu in Haiti, to assist the living in their daily affairs. Indeed, as in most other African religious traditions, the Supreme Being withdrew from the world after having created it. Management of the world was left in the hands of spiritual entities—more particularly of the Lwa. However, God remains the ultimate arbitrator and supreme master of all things in the universe. This entry looks at the characteristics of the Lwa and how they are worshipped. There are more than 1,000 divinities, or Lwa, in Vodu. The Lwa are grouped in 17 pantheons, or ...