Fèt Gede

Gede yo se yon kategori lwa nan vodou ayisyen an ki se lespri mò yo. Tradisyonèlman, mèt yo se Bawon Sanmdi (Bawon lakwa oubyen Bawon Kriminèl) ak Grann Brijit (madanm Bawon).

The Gede are a family of lwa (venerated spirits/deities) in Vodou that represents the spirits of the dead. Traditionally, their leader is Bawon Samdi (Also known as Bawon Lakwa or Bawon Kriminèl) ak Grann Brijit (Madanm Bawon). 

Pwosesyon Gede nan Kanaval, Kolektif 2 Dimansyon / Visit Haiti

Gede yo se yon fanmi lwa ki anlè, ki fè bri e ki renmen di betiz, pale de fè bagay, ri ak pran plezi yo.

The Gede are a high-spirited family of spirits who make themselves known through their loud, lewd, and vulgar commentaries. As spirits of death and fertility, they speak of sex often and they love to have fun. 

Kòm yo te viv deja, yo pa pè anyen e yo montre sa lè yo vini nan tèt yon moun, yo manje boutèy, yo pran piman epi mete piman ak kleren nan ti pati yo. Pandan moun nan gen gede a, se espri an ki santi piman an ak boutèy la. 

Many of them were once alive so they’re not afraid of anything and they show that when they mount a person. They are known to eat glass bottles and drink peppered alcohol, which they also douse all over their private parts. While mounted by a Gede, only the person does not feel the effects of these acts. 

Selebrasyon Gede nan Gran Simityè Pòtoprens,  Franck Fontain / Visit Haiti

Yo konsidere yo tankou lespri ki akonpanye mò yo lè yo travèse paske wòl yo se mennen mò yo nan lòt vi a. Yo fete gede yo chak 1 ak 2 novanm ki se fèt mò yo tou nan rityèl katolik la.

The Gede are the spirits that accompany the dead on their journey to the other side. Celebrations are held in their honor mostly on the 1st and 2nd of November, which are also days of celebration for the dead in the catholic tradition. 

Selebrasyon tradisyonèl sa a se yon moman banbòch san parèy. Nan tout lari, vodouyizan ki gen gede nan tèt yo ak boutèy alkòl yo ki gen yon bon kantite piman ladan l, yon boutèy ki te prepare plizyè tan alavans pou sa. Yo ap danse, y ap gouye nan yon fason vilgè e lib, y ap bwè kleren ak piman epi y ap di gwo bout pawòl piman bouk. Tout sa yo karakterize gede yo. Selon kèk etnològ ayisyen, espri sa yo sòti nan kilti tayino yo ak kilti afriken yo ki te rive Ayiti. 

This traditional celebration is pure bacchanal. All over the streets, Vodouyizan/Vodouwizan (adherents to Vodou) who are mounted by the Gede walk with their prepared bottles of alcohol, drinking, freely thrusting their hips, and funnily cursing. These characteristics are part of why these fun-loving spirits are celebrated. According to Hatian anthropologists, these spirits are “Ancient inhabitants of Dahomey” (Beaubrun M., pg. 38). 

Koulè tradisyonèl yo se nwa ak mov. Degizman Gede Nibo (Fanmi Gede a) a konpoze ak twa koulè: nwa, mov ak blan. Yo rekonèt Gede nibo tankou pwotektè mò vivan yo.

Their traditional colors are black and purple. However, in addition to those colors, celebrants also wear white. 

Selebrasyon Gede na Gran Simityè Pòtoprens,  Franck Fontain / Visit Haiti

Lontan, fèt gede se te sèlman yon fèt yo te konn fete nan zòn andeyò yo. Piti piti, yo te vin kòmanse fete l nan vil yo. Chak ane, yon bann ak yon pakèt moun al nan simityè nan zòn kapital la sitou nan Pòtoprens ak Petyonvil (simityè petyonvil  pa egziste ankò). Nou wè menm fenomèn sa a nan lòt vil peyi a tou. Nou ka di fèt gede yo se yon fèt ki popilè menm si gen yon pati nan popilasyon an (sitou klas boujwazi a) ki sèlman fete latousen nan rityèl katolik la.

Previously, this celebration was confined to the countryside. But over the years, it is becoming more and more mainstream, with many celebrations taking place in cities. Every year, celebrants fill up the cemeteries in the capital as they do in many other cities in the country, a sign of the celebrations’ increasing popularity. Still, there are many Haitians, especially those of the upper class, who only adhere to the Catholic holidays of All Saints and All Souls Day. 

Sous/Sources:

  1. Beaubrun, M. (2013). Nan Dòmi: An Initiate’s Journey into Haitian Vodou. City Lights Books

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