Maya Deren: An Analysis Of The Vodun Religion

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Between the years of 1947 and 1951 Maya Deren filmed a documentary which depicted Vodun practices in way that had never been done before. This documentary showed society there was more to this spiritual belief than what met the eye. Filmed in Haiti, it followed vodun believers and the ceremonies that would take place throughout their daily lives. These ceremonies often included dance and rituals such as spirit manifestation, the sacrificing of animals and sacred objects that would provide the people with a connection to the gods or what was known to them as Loa. It is very clear that what is shown throughout the film is not the falsehood in which many people believe Vodun actually is, and by a careful assessment I plan to analyze this religion from a phenomenological stand point in order to clarify what this religion really consists of and what it does not.…show more content…
This religion has earned quite the reputation for being able to manipulate fate in order to seek the things that one might most desire. Whether it be through curses, the use of vodou dolls, or even the calling upon evil spirits, it is known that the desires of a vodou believer will always manifest one way or another. Although this might be true, the real essence of Vodun does not consists of any of these things. It is shown throughout Deren’s film that Vodun is more complex than what it is often thought to be and over the course of the four years that she followed this religious community she captured things that had remained unknown to non-vodun practitioners for

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