99. Erzulie Picture

Maîtresse Mambo Erzulie Fréda Dahomey: Haitian Voodoo Goddess of Love, Romance, Beauty, Jewelry, Dancing, Luxury, and Flowers

100 Gods/Goddesses Challenge

This is a difficult one for me to wrap my head around, so please be patient with me for a sec here. XD

In voodoo mythology, there are several different spirits called 'iwa'. Erzulie is in a way one iwa and many iwa (not sure if this applies to other or all deities in the pantheon) In a nutshell, Erzulie is all aspects of womanhood; this form is just one of them. Since the challenge linked me directly to Erzulie Freda, she is the one I am focussing on. XD

The best thing about Erzulie Freda (aside from the fact that religious iconography in the Caribbean is awesome because it merges all sorts of African and European/Judeo-Christian iconography together) is that she is a prime example of a deity that is refreshingly oozing with humanity. She's a difficult gal to please: she needs her altars to be absolutely pristine for one thing, and for another she has very sophisticated tastes (pink champagne and lots of cake and perfume!) and will always demand for more. Yet she also has a tragic flaw in that she exists in a world without perfection, she's spoiled and vengeful and lazy and jealous. Sound like anyone you might know? She is one of the most powerful and beneficial (and terrifying) iwas. Erzulie Freda is capable of granting luck, love, wealth, spoiling poison... or if you get on her bad side, she can cause drug addictions and make you fall in love and break your heart over and over and over and over. D:

Another interesting thing is how she is portrayed culturally: because she is supposed to be the embodiment of sophistication, she prefers to speak French over Haitian Creole (a pidgin language: a mixture of French and native Haitian dialects). She herself is portrayed as a refined French lady. XD
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