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
Vilokan designates the mythological abode of the Vodou spirits (lwas). An African-derived religion, Vodou was brought to Haiti during the colonization period (1492–1804) and has maintained many West African religious traditions; among them are those of Benin (formerly Dahomey), Kongo, Nigeria, and Guinea. Vodouists believe that Vilokan is in Africa, and they conceive of it as a city in Ginen (or Guinea) on an island below the sea. Vilokan features prominently in Vodou's worldview and ritual observances. Vodou's mythology conceives of the cosmos as a sphere made of two inverted halves of a gourd whose edges match perfectly. Inside this sphere are two mutually perpendicular and intersecting planes that, perceived in a cross-section of the sphere, represent the arms of a cross. The plane along which the two halves of the sphere are conjoined constitutes the horizon. The perpendicular line of the cross that transects the horizontal plane forms the ...