My standard apology for featuring anything in voudou: I have a hard time finding reliable resources. Someone write a book for us, okay? (I’ll picking up http://amzn.to/WojigG when it’s out in January.)
Also, like many other spirits I feature here, loa/lwa are not demons. They’re sort of like gods, sort of like saints, and sort of like neither in a way I don’t really understand. Any way you slice it, best not to piss them off.
One of the youngest voudou loa/lwa is one of the scariest.
In 1791, Haitian slaves were rebelling against their French rule. Legend has it that on August 14 of that year, a voudou priest named Dutty Boukman led a voudou ritual of the darkest kind. The priest, or bokor, and a female priestess, a mambo/mamba, called on Satan through the sacrifice of a black pig. All the attendees drank the pig’s blood and swore their allegiance to the devil for 200 years if he would help them overthrow their masters, kill them, and destroy all their stuff. The pact is known as the Boukman Contract.
The revolution was a success and independence was declared in 1804. In fact, it’s the only slave revolution in history that resulted in the establishment of an actual government, under Jean-Jacques Dessalines. The revolution also slipped up Napoleon’s foothold in the New World, which could have seriously affected the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and the War of 1812 in North America.
But there are other legends.
One of them says that the mambo who actually slit the pig’s throat suffered an evil fate. After her death, she became a lwa herself. Her name was, you guessed it, Marinette. She’s sometimes known as Marinette-bra-chéch or Marinette pied chéche, which is a patois of the French “Marinette bras/pied séc”, or Marinette of the dry arms/feet. This suggests she has a skeletal form (or so I read).
Marinette is very powerful and very feared. However, the flip side of her personality is that she frees people from their bondage. So, she does have her devotees.
Marinette’s aspect is that of a screech or barn owl. She’s also associated with werewolves—some say she’s the queen of the Haitian werewolves, and that they all follow her. I read one resource that said she hunts humans while in her werewolf form, but then I read some stuff on that resource that says it’s full of crap.
Sigh. What’s a researcher to do?
The sacrifices she likes most are black pigs and black roosters plucked while still alive. That possibly-unreliable resource says she wants her sacrifices buried in the ground so that other lwa can’t find them and steal them from her.
Why anyone, even another lwa, would think it’s a good idea to steal anything from this lady is unexplained.