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  • Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte



    So, I was watching this video about Baron Samedi, and I noticed something interesting. The video mentions that the Baron's wife, Maman Brigitte, is the only white goddess seen in the Loa Pantheon. She's described as having red hair and green eyes as well.

    Considering that Vodoo is notorious for borrowing from just about every belief system it ever encountered, the obvious possible connection Brigitte and Brigid can't be dismissed. What do you think? Is Brigitte another Mantle of Brigid's? They don't appear to have much of anything in common in terms of power, so how would one deal with this possible connection in a Scion game?


    "We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."
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  • #2
    My idea is that she could be a Scion of Brighid who was among the Irish sentenced to transport as indentured servants in the Caribbean, who then married into the Loa while she was ascending to godhood.

    There have been some arguments that she's an adaptation of Oya, given her associated domains (particularly wind and the dead), but I'm not sure how well substantiated that is.

    Could always combine the two possibilities - maybe a son of Brigid sentenced to transport to the Caribbean had a daughter with Oya, and then named their daughter after his mother.

    I'm really curious to see how the Loa writeup in the Companion handles the division of Mantles of the Orisha and distinct Loa. My inclination is that in a lot of cases where there are doubled Rada and Petwo Loa, the Rada Loa is often a Mantle of the Orisha, while the Petwo is a new deity that rose in the Caribbean. So Papa Legba would be a Mantle of Eshu Elegba, while Kalfu is a separate Caribbean born deity. Erzulie Freda is a Mantle of Oshun, while Erzulie Dantour is Caribbean born. Etc.
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 07-30-2018, 10:37 AM.


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    • #3
      We may need an expert.

      Yo, Watcher care to weigh in?


      Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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      • #4
        Hmmm. Brigitte as a Scion of Brigid definitely has merit. Certainly explains the difference in personality and power.

        That's certainly one possibility.


        "We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."
        Captain Malcolm Reynolds

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
          We may need an expert.

          Yo, Watcher care to weigh in?
          Hm? Oh, this one.

          So, there is a lot about this to unpack. Firstly, the religion is not 'Vodoo,' and it no more or no less adapted traditions from other religious systems than others. Everyone borrows traditions from everyone they encounter, be it in artwork, religion, poetry, technology, it's standard human behavior. A lot of the things that video says I would consider highly suspect, such as the claim that the Loa are not worshiped, but instead served. I very much disagree with that statement from everything I know about Afro-Caribbean religions, and it also somehow suggests that serving someone is not as valid a form of worship as sitting praying. The Hittites would love a word about that. I have already had the chance to review the video that was put out by this channel on The Morrígan which was almost overwhelmingly untrue, so, keep that in mind. This does not appear to be a good source.

          Now, for the thing I was actually summoned for Brigid of the Túatha Dé Danann having a connection to Maman Brigitte. I would say no for several reasons which I will explain here.
          • To begin with, Brigid being Saint Brigid of Kildare is already incredibly suspect. Even the existence of Brigid in Ireland as a Goddess is suspect, and within the Irish Sagas, she is one of the most irrelevant characters you could find. She plays no major role, takes no direct action, and is barely ever even mentioned by any of the texts. By and large her importance is fictionalized in the modern era. Brigid tends to be connected to Saint Brigid of Kildare in Scion since without this connection, Brigid is entirely unusable as a Divine Parent as she lacks the majority of her Callings and Purviews alone.
          • If you go with the connection of Maman Brigitte and Saint Brigid of Kildare, you need to associate the rest of the Loa with their respective Saints. I believe almost all of them are connected with a different Saint, so by doing this you are setting a precedent for the rest of the Pantheon that will quickly start getting into really complicated topics.
          • Taking a member of the Túatha Dé Danann and pushing them into the Loa due to a series of possible connections I feel is inappropriate. Why connect them to Ireland when Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte could work just as well as Scions of the Orisha who underwent Apotheosis during the horrific period that the Loa were forged in?
          Now, I am not an expert on Afro-Caribbean religions, I would suggest someone reach out and talk to Lula for that. However, I cannot discourage the association enough from a scholarly perspective on the Irish side of things. It is questionable if Brigid even existed, let alone her possibly being connected to Saint Brigid of Kildare. Compounding these unlikely situations again with the unlikely chance that there is a connection between Brigid and Maman Brigitte just seems unnecessary.

          Even for Scion which is a fictional take on Gods and Goddesses, I feel that this is too much. I believe it makes more sense for the couple to be Scions of the Orisha (or other West African Pantheons!) to have underwent Apotheosis.

          EDIT: Okay, yeah, this is a terrible source. Their video on Cernunnos is quite honestly impressively bad, and their one on The Morrígan is close. I would not use them as a source for anything. None of this is true, it is all absolute toss.
          Last edited by Watcher; 07-31-2018, 11:12 PM.

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          • #6
            Wow. Thanks, Watcher! I guess I'll just stick to the guy's Lovecraftian videos, then. That's what drew me to this video, after all.

            I definitely agree with you about the "service/worship" issue. How is worshipping someone NOT serving them? Most Christians would agree that obeying the Ten Commandments is serving God.

            Just out of curiosity? Obviously, you've said you're not an expert on Afro-Caribbean religion, but do you know if it's true what he says about her being the only white Loa?
            Last edited by unnatural1; 07-31-2018, 11:44 PM.


            "We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."
            Captain Malcolm Reynolds

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            • #7
              I'm not Watcher, but I don't think that's correct. I've heard from a couple of places that Erzulie specifically asked Bondeye to make her white and blonde to accord better with beauty standards in the new world, and I've also seen a bunch of places online mention a white slave-owner loa called Dinclinsin, though I've never found a very good source on him.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by unnatural1 View Post
                Just out of curiosity? Obviously, you've said you're not an expert on Afro-Caribbean religion, but do you know if it's true what he says about her being the only white Loa?
                I really am not sure, so I couldn't say anything solidly either way. I can say that I would find it very strange if that were the case, if Maman Brigitte is consistently depicted as being white, and if so, if it was entirely contained to her person and did not spread to anyone else.

                If you ask Lula, they should be able to give you some answers though. IIRC, this is their field.

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                • #9
                  I don't know if he really counts, being a strictly malicious figure, basically the archetypal white slave owner as a god, but Dinclinsin is definitely a white Loa. Undeniably a Titan and opposed directly to the rest of the pantheon, and disgustingly evil, but still a Loa.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                    I don't know if he really counts, being a strictly malicious figure, basically the archetypal white slave owner as a god, but Dinclinsin is definitely a white Loa. Undeniably a Titan and opposed directly to the rest of the pantheon, and disgustingly evil, but still a Loa.
                    I think he’d just be an evil god. It’s more on keeping with the themes of the Orisha and Loa if their major foes are making moral choices not governed by their unshakable nature like Titans are.


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                    • #11
                      I'm actually curious if the Loa will differ from the Orishas in regard to their treatment of Titans. Unlike the Orishas, the Loa have some figures that appear, at least at first glance, very Titanic. Gran Bois comes to mind as an example.

                      Dinclinsin strikes me as being very Titanic in the sense of being "the enemy," not because of how inhuman he is. If anything, he's disturbingly human. But there are plenty of Titans that aren't really primal, just enemies of the pantheon, the Fomor coming to mind as prime examples. I don't think the Loa would accept him as one of their own. The Titan thing is subjective though, so who knows.
                      Last edited by Wannabe Demon Lord; 08-01-2018, 03:04 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Considering Gran Bois forms a mystically important triad with Kalfu and Baron Samedi, I wouldn’t want to set him apart from the rest of the Pantheon like that.


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                        • #13
                          Did not know that. For some reason, I was thinking of him as an independent nature deity.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                            Did not know that. For some reason, I was thinking of him as an independent nature deity.
                            As I understand it they’re the three Loa most important to the practice of sorcery.


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                            • #15
                              When it comes to researching the Loa, I personally prefer to stick to sources written by Vodouisants, if you do that, you quickly realize very few of the Petwo/Petro are actually even remotely evil. Gran Bwa / Gran Bois is fairly violent in his possessions (which is a trait most of Petro have), but is actually pretty friendly once he calms down and will offer his protection to practitioners who show him proper reverence. The idea of the Petro being evil comes largely by their violent possessions and tendency to do crazy things that baffle the minds of people who sit in on Vodou ceremonies and then write books about their experiences without bothering to really understand what was happening. If you want an evil loa, Kalfu is the closest you'll get, but even so he plays a vital role in Vodou as more or less the Legba of the Petro (although some societies have a Legba Rada and a Legba Petwo, it depends). Really, the Loa don't have any Titan figures.

                              Also, Maman Brigitte isn't syncretized with St. Brigid, usually she's portrayed with images of Mary Magdalene, St. Rosalia or St. Helena, but in all three cases its due to cross or skull imagery, not full-blown syncretization like you have with many other loa. Also, as a quick note, Haiti never had a large Irish population, which further brings to question how St. Brigid would have got there anyway.

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