Origin of Zombies
According to what I read, zombies are dead bodies that are soulless. It is also suppose to known as black magic of voodoo priests.
In the early 16th century by West African slaves. According to tradition, the slaves could not practice their religion openly and were forced to adopt in public the practices of the French Catholic settlers. [A correspondent, Dorian David Leigh, who says he is a practitioner of Haitian Voudon, says the traditional view is wrong. He says that “rather than using Catholic images to disguise their traditional religious beliefs, the members of the many disparate tribes that made up the slave population of Haiti likely found that Catholicism was the one thing they had in common when it came to religious belief. Rather than hiding behind Catholicism, they recognized something that was already familiar to them and had already been adopted into their various tribal religious practices.
Haitian Vodou (not voodoo) is not only from Benin, although Benin is where the practice of Vodoun originated and is still practiced. Haitian vodou is a combination of spiritual practices from many tribal groups in Africa, including the Fon (of Benin), Kongo, Ibo, and Yoruba (of modern Nigeria); amalgamated with Catholicism and the beliefs and practices of the native Taino indian population.)] Voodoo is still a popular religion in Haiti and in cities where Haitians have emigrated, such as New Orleans. (According to Leigh, “New Orleans Voodoo has nothing whatsoever to do with Haitian Vodou. It is a completely different thing, and not even an actual religion. It is the local variant of hoodoo/conjure, concerning itself with spellcasting and divination rather than the worship of lwa, or spirits.”) Vodu is an African word meaning spirit or god. (Leigh disagrees and says that “Vodu is the Fon word for ‘spirit’, and does not mean ‘god’ in any sense of the word. The spirits of Vodou are not gods, as Vodou is a monotheistic religion centered on the belief that there is one God, who created the universe and spends all his time running it, therefore he is too busy to worry about the concerns of men. Instead, he created the spirits to act as intermediaries, to advise, guide, help and heal human beings. The spirits are therefore lesser beings than God, and are not considered deities by those who serve them.”) The black magic of voodoo sorcerers allegedly consists of chemicals, various poisons (perhaps that of the puffer fish) which immobilize a person for days, as well as hallucinogens administered upon revival.
Zombies – Part 2
The result is a complacent, paralyzed, or brain damaged creature used by the sorcerers as slaves, viz., the zombies. [Leigh says that “There is no ‘black magic’ involved, and those who create zombies are not always bokor. In the most common form of Vodou, Afrique de Ginen, killing is forbidden. So when a crime is committed that is so horrible it can only be punished by death, instead the criminal is turned into a zombie. This is rare, and not done lightly. There are others who do not share this morality, and may sell zombies (astral or physical) for their own profit. These persons are the ones associated with black magic. Additionally, there are many secret societies in Haiti who act as something like a police force, but who are more feared. These societies are the ones associated with creating zombies as punishment, and one (the Bizango) is discussed at length in Wade Davis’ book The Serpent and the Rainbow.”] The zombie is not to be confused with the zombie astral, whose soul (ti-bon-ange) is controlled by the sorcerer.
It is quite understandable that a religion practiced under slavery would emphasize evil spirits. [Leigh writes: “Vodou does not in any way at all emphasise evil spirits. Instead, Vodou emphasizes happiness, healing, community and service. There are some spirits in Haitian Vodou who are considered ‘hot’, who may be angry when they appear in possession, who are warlike or who have a more ambiguous morality. However, these spirits are not considered evil. They are beloved in Haiti as they helped the slaves overthrow their masters in the Haitian Revolution. Also, the spirits have very human aspects to them. A baloved mother may become violent if she has to protect her child. There is a spirit considered to be the mother of all Haitians and of the country of Haiti, and she will certainly become violent and angry if her children are threatened. That does not make her evil. There are also spirits who are nothing but happy, whose goal it is to do nothing but spread joy and happiness. There is no emphasis on evil spirits, all spirits are given equal weight, although those who are most commonly encountered or who are most popular are likely to be emphasised over those who are less common or well known. To state in any way, shape or form that Vodou emphasises evil spirits is both false and offensive to those who practice that faith.”] It is a cruel irony that some in the religion would evolve to worship at evil’s altar and engage in practices which not only enslave others but keep the community in line from fear of being turned into a zombie/slave. [Leigh writes: “Creating zombies, as I said above, isn’t done by evil sorcerers and isn’t about enslavement. Turning someone into a zombie is Haitian Vodou’s equivalent of the death penalty. It is the ultimate punishment for serious crimes, and is done more to protect the community than to terrorise it. Very respected members of the Vodou community (Such as Ati Max G. Beauvoir) have the ability to turn someone into a zombie, but no one believes them to be evil. A judge in a court of law may have the ability to send someone to death row, but that doesn’t make him evil either. True, there are a very few people who traffic in zombies, but Haitians trust that secret societies (who also have the power to create zombies) will protect them from those individuals. The issue of zombie is not so clear cut, and to state that those who create zombies ‘worship at evil’s altar’ is a rather simplistic and dramatic view of the subject.”]
Zombies – Part 2
Many people are skeptical of the existence of zombies, which I take to mean they are skeptical that a dead person could be revived with or without retaining his or her “soul” or “self-consciousness” or “mind.” Once you are dead, you are dead forever. For those who don’t believe a person has a soul, death is not the separation of the body from the soul, but the end of life and consciousness. The voodoo zombie is not a dead person, but a living person who has been brain damaged.
There is another kind of zombie, however: the philosophical zombie. More on that tomorrow.
Want To Use This Article In Your Ezine or Website? You have my permission to link to this article only. This is copyrighted material. Renee D. Pellegrino is of Italian decent writing a melting pot of genres. You can visit Renee D. Pellegrino, access her free article archive, and grab some free stuff at http://ReneeDPellegino.com Renee D. Pellegrino lives on the Crescent Moon German Shepherd Dog Kennel in central Pennsylvania with her two cats and six German Shepherds. She continues to write daily, about other things and Zombies.