Jack Berry Had Been Missing for Months … Dismembered Body Parts Encased in Concrete … Son Jeremiah Raymond Berry Arrested


A 20 year old has been arrested and accused of murdering his father, Concre_slabdismembering the body and encasing it in concrete. Hmm … sounds like another theory we have heard of.

42 year old Jack Berry had not been seen and had been missing for months. No one had heard from Jack Berry. Now investigators are following leads that Jack Berry’s body may have been scattered through out Montezuma County, AZ. The missing father’s son, 20 year old Jeremiah Raymond Berry, is being held as a suspect.

Arizona authorities tipped off the sheriff’s office on Monday about a missing person.

And on Tuesday night, they located several of the body parts. They continued the search on Wednesday.

Both Cortez police and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation are assisting the sheriff’s office with the investigation.

“We did recover some of the body parts and we’ve concluded with the assistance of a person of interest that the rest of the body was dismembered and placed throughout the county,” said Montezuma Sheriff Gerald Wallace.

Some of the body parts that police have recovered were encased in concrete. Authorities suspect Jeremiah Berry dismembered the body and encased remains in buckets of hardened concrete. Dismembered body parts encased in concrete buckets were found at a missing man’s home. The remains were found in three places, including the family home of Jack Berry, 42, who relatives said had been missing for a few months.

Wallace says searchers found two large buckets of hardened concrete, which were then run through a hospital CT scan machine. The scan revealed body parts inside.

He says the search is continuing with a dog trained to find bodies.

Berry faces charges for murder: Law enforcement officials try to identify victim of homicide with dismembered body

Jeremiah Raymond Berry, 20, is being held at the Montezuma County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond for investigation of murder. His father, Jack William Berry, 42, of Cortez, is listed as a missing person by authorities and is thought to be the victim.

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  • Comments

    23 Responses to “Jack Berry Had Been Missing for Months … Dismembered Body Parts Encased in Concrete … Son Jeremiah Raymond Berry Arrested”

    1. A New Girl on May 3rd, 2008 8:04 pm

      Wow…from a touchy-feely warm story about love and a remarkable Racehorse…

      to a sad, riveting crime story on a grizzly murder.

      Things that make you go- Hhhmmmmmnnn.

      As far as Jerimiah Berry goes…life imprisonment for this type of a henious patricide is not enough! Even a lethal injection for this type of animal is too humane. Too bad our Government can’t revise Capital Punishment in all States.

      I’m really sorry, but sub-humans like this who committ atrocious and henious crimes in my opinion should be executed. I’m not in favor of my tax dollars paying for a life behind bars, with 3 square meals a day and a warm place to sleep at night for individuals such as this that are NOT WORTHY.
      SM: Isn’t that how life is though? I would rather always write about stories like the Barbaro one. Unfortunately there are too many deranged people that create the other types of stories that people need to be made aware of.

    2. Patti on May 3rd, 2008 9:06 pm

      Dig up the Pool!!!!!


      Why is the Van der Sloot

      property off limits?


      What, exactly did they find?

      That small rack of bones that

      looked like it was too small

      to be Natalee?

      Where are the D.N.A. tests?

      We have the CIA, Secret Service,

      State Department, among others;

      telling us how bad Aruba really is…

      When will there be an END

      to their CORRUPTION?


      They have a freakin’ FREE ZONE…

      Free to do whatever they please!?!???


      Hey, Oduber!!!!

      What do YOU do?


      RUUUUUN, Forest, Ruun!!!



      and a little communism

      to give it a twist!



    3. Patti on May 3rd, 2008 9:18 pm


      What sha got?

      An Oduber screw!!!


      The elite of the ELITE!

      He’s got his hand in

      EVERYBODY’s pocket.

      But he especially likes drugs…

      having NO CONSCIENCE

      about his young people…

      our sons and daughters

      who get the demon’s hook in them

      and, soon, they’re stealing from you!


      And… he says you’re happy.

    4. Patti on May 3rd, 2008 9:24 pm

      Just like Sasha Says…


      Look at yourself!

      Look around you…

      And have the heart to know

      This is not NORMAL

      Before you have a lost generation

      Lost to Automobile Accidents

      Lost to Drug Overdose

      Lost to Hepatitis

      Lost to A.I.D.S.

      Lost to Drugs




      all we want is Natalee.


      Justice for Natalee!




    5. Ray on May 3rd, 2008 9:53 pm

      If I remember correctly there was found a concrete block off the beach in aruba. No one checked to see if it was a CONCRETE ENBALMING JOB. At least I never heard that they checked. No telling who may have been in that concrete. The block had no way to attach a cable,so it was no good as a boat anchorage.


    6. A New Girl on May 4th, 2008 12:55 am

      #1- Re: Red’s response~ Yes, that is how life is. Never ceases to amaze me. I am sure as a writer you enjoy reporting on the nicities as opposed to the “horrors”. BTW- I love how you do write, no matter what the article. You are quite gifted.

      @ Patti- I enjoy reading your posts as well. SM really has a interesting and diverse range of bloggers. I always look forward to seeing what others contribute.

      *******JUSTICE FOR NATALEE*******

      *~*~ SUPPORT OUR TROOPS ~*~

      ******** McCAIN ’08 ********

      and GOD BLESS AMERICA !! (Somebody has to)


    7. Richard on May 4th, 2008 8:11 am

      If I remember, the Dutch team that was sent to the van der Scum house did take dog ‘sniffers’ and do other tests around the pool area, and checked out other parts of that property.

      This, of course, was about two years after Natalee went missing. I think that their searches were limited to the van der Scum and Kalpoe properties and the California lighthouse.

      Hardly the most ‘original’ or enterprising of ideas, and hardly timely.

      Anyway, it never seemed likely to me that (especially if PvdScum was involved in disposing of Natalee’s body) the remains would be interred on their property. Surely any lawyer … or anyone sane … would realize that if somehow a search uncovered the body on their property, it would be 100% proof that they were involved.

      Needless to say, that’s only how I look at it.
      There are enough things going on in the world that defy all sense.

      We never did find out anything more about those soil samples that were brought back to the Netherlands for analysis, did we?

    8. Richard on May 4th, 2008 8:37 am

      Incidentally, in the story of the Austrian girl imprisoned in a cellar by her father for 24 years and forced to bear seven children to him (who helped deliver the babies, the father?) …

      There’s a story out now that during those years, another man had access to the basement. I tried to post it on the relevant thread, but apparently there can be difficulties when posting articles here that contain a url.

      This story is getting more and more horrible. The city where this took place has cancelled their May Day celebration, and the Austrian government has asked the world at large not to tarnish the image of Austria by associating the whole country with this case.

      It sounds like there is at least some moral awareness there, unlike in some Caribbean countries that I could mention ….

      Anyway, I’m putting this here just to point out that because something seems impossible, that doesn’t necessarily prove it didn’t happen. I still think that the intensity of the Aruban cover-up suggests that Natalee’s story, too, is not an ‘ordinary’ one.

      Not that we can look for our government to care.

    9. Maggie on May 4th, 2008 12:42 pm

      Some sick people in the world. We had a story in this state not long ago about a man who tried to kill his wife, by pouring bleach down her throat while she was sleeping. Makes you wonder what happened to these people’s minds. As for Aruba, I think anything is possible with what they did to Natalee’s body afterwards considering what we have seen out of the ones involved with her after leaving Carlos n Charlies.

    10. Miss Katie on May 4th, 2008 1:57 pm

















    11. Patti on May 4th, 2008 5:06 pm


      God sees everything…

      Especially sins that mock his Son’s death and the sacrifice that he made to cover ALL sin. They will be destroyed, eventually, thrown into the lake of fire, with Satan and his demons. While others, those personally involved with the trickery of the Devil against Natalee and God’s Holy Spirit, will perish by the sword; an untimely death, never to rise again.

      The unforgivable sin…




      You’re right Waterboy,

      it is unforgivable…

      And we must hate WHAT is bad.



      (In my honest, Sunday evening, opinion)


    12. Patti on May 4th, 2008 5:19 pm


      We’ve often wondered why Paulus stays in Aruba while everyone else in his family are traveling abroad…

      Maybe he’s keeping an eye on the pool.


      And, you’re right…

      They found mixed D.N.A. at the rocks.



      How many others?!?!?!!


      Justice for Natalee
      and ALL the Others!

    13. misskatie on May 4th, 2008 7:34 pm

      I was just thinking how funny it would be if someone kidnapped pauulus..
      and kept him somewhere with no word
      lets see how fast joran sings

    14. misskatie on May 4th, 2008 7:34 pm

      and that is my sunday best

    15. Patti on May 5th, 2008 4:54 pm


      Sunday best…


      I did do some research, because, it really bothered me to think that all these people in Aruba are saying they’re Catholics.

      I read the whole thing. Basically, it says that the Caribe and the Taino are one in the same… Arawak. If you get bored with all the history of these tribes, you can cut right to the chase in reading the last paragraph.

      Sorry for the long post, in advance:


      (Also Aruacans).

      The first American aborigines met by Columbus — not to be confounded with the Aroacas or Arhouaques, linguistically allied to the Chibohas of Columbia — an Indian stock widely distributed over South America. Tribes speaking dialects of the Arawak language are met with in and between Indians of other linguistic stocks, from the sources of the Paraguay to the northwestern shores of Lake Maracaybo (Goajiros), from the eastern slopes of the Andes in Peru and Bolivia to the Atlantic coast in Guyana. The Arawaks were met by Columbus in 1492, on the Bahamas, and later on in Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. In the fifteenth century and possibly for several centuries previous, Indians of Arawak stock occupied the Greater Antilles. It is not impossible that up to a certain time before Columbus they may have held all the West Indian Islands. Then an intrusive Indian element, that of the Caribs, gradually encroached on the southern Antilles from the mainland of Venezuela and drove the Arawaks northward. The latter showed a decided fear of their aggressors, a feeling increased by the cannibalism of the Caribs.

      Generally speaking, the Arawaks are in a condition between savagery and agriculture, and the status varies according to the environment. The Arawaks on the Bahamas were practically defenseless against the Caribs. The aborigines of Cuba and Haiti, enjoying superior material advantages, stood on a somewhat higher plane. The inhabitants of Jamaica and Puerto Rico, immediate neighbors of the Caribs, were almost as fierce as the latter, and probably as anthropophagous. Wedged in (after the discovery of Columbus) between the Caribs on the South and the Europeans, the former relentless destroyers, the latter startling innovators, the northern Arawaks were doomed. In the course of half a century they succumbed to the unwonted labor imposed them, epidemics doing their share towards extermination. Abuse has been heaped upon Spain for this inevitable result of first contact between races whose civilization was different and whose ideas were so incompatible. Colonization in its beginning on American soil had to go through a series of experiments, and the Indians naturally were the victims. Then the experimenters (as is always the case in newly discovered lands) did not at first belong to the most desirable class. Columbus himself (a brilliant navigator but a poor administrator) did much to contribute to the outcome by measures well-intended but impractical, on account of absolute lack of acquaintance with the nature of American aborigines.

      The Church took a deep interest in the fate of the Antillean Arawaks. The Hieronymites, and later, the Dominicans defended their cause, and propagated Christianity among them. They also carefully studied their customs and religious beliefs. Frey Roman Pane, a Hieronymite, has left us a very remarkable report on the lore and ceremonials of the Indians of Haiti (published in Italian in 1571, in Spanish in 1749, and in French in 1864); shorter descriptions, from anonymous, but surely ecclesiastical, sources, are contained in the “Documentos in editos de Indias”. The report of Frey Roman Pane antedates 1508, and it is the first purely ethnographic treatise on American Indians.

      While lamenting the disappearance of the Indians of the Antilles, writers of the Columbian period have, for controversial effect, greatly exaggerated the numbers of these peoples; hence the number of victims charged to Spanish rule. It is not possible that Indians constantly warring with each other, and warred upon by an outside enemy like the Caribs, not given to agriculture except in as far as women worked the crops, without domestic animals, in an enervating climate, would have been nearly as numerous as, for instance, Las Casas asserts. The extermination of the Antillean Arawaks under Spanish rule has not yet been impartially written. It is no worse a page in history than many filled with English atrocities, or those which tell how the North American aborigines have been disposed of in order to make room for the white man. The Spanish did not, and could not, yet know of the nature and the possibilities of the Indian. They could not understand that a race physically well-endowed, but the men of which had no conception of work, could not be suddenly changed into hardy tillers of the soil and miners. And yet the Indian had to be made to labor, as the white population was entirely too small for developing the resources of the new-found lands. The European attributed the inaptitude of the Indian for physical labor to obstinency, and only too often vented his impatience in acts of cruelty. The Crown made the utmost efforts to mitigate, and to protect the aborigine, but ere the period of experiments was over, the latter had almost vanished.

      As already stated, the Arawaks, presumably, held the lesser Antilles also, until, previous to the Columbian era, the Caribs expelled them, thus separating the northern branch from the main stock on the southern continent. Of the latter it has been surmised that their original homes were on the eastern slope of the Andes, where the Campas (Chunchos or Antis) represent the Arawak element, together with the Shipibos, Piros, Conibos and other tribes of the extensive Pano group. A Spanish officer, Perdro de Candia, first discovered them in 1538. The earliest attempts at Christianization are due to the Jesuits. They made, previous to 1602, six distinct efforts to convert the Chunchos, from the side of Huánuco in Peru, and from northern Bolivia, but all these attempts were failures. There are also traces that a Jesuit had penetrated those regions in 1581, more as an explorer than as a missionary. Not withstanding the ill-success accompanying the first efforts, the Jesuits persevered, and founded missions among the Moxos, one of the most southerly branches of the Arawaks, and also among the Baures. Those missions were, of course, abandoned after 1767. During the past century the Franciscans have taken up the field of which the Jesuits were deprived, especially the missions among the Pano, or Shipibo tribes of the Beni region of Bolivia. The late Father Raphael Sanz was one of the first to devote himself to the difficult and dangerous task, and he was ably followed by Father Nicholas Armentia, who is now Bishop of La Paz. The latter has also done very good work in the field of linguistics. Missions among the Goajiros in Columbia, however, had but little success. Of late, the tribe has become more approachable. The Arawaks of the upper Amazonian region were probably met by Alanso Mercadillo, in 1537, and may have been seen by Orellana in 1538-39. The Arawak tribes occupying almost exclusively the southern bank of the Amazon, they were reached by the missionaries later than the tribes of the north bank. Missionaries accompanied Juan Salinas de Loyola (a relative of St. Ignatius) in 1564. But the results of these expeditions were not permanent.

      In the heart of the Andean region the Friars of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarios) were the first to establish permanent missions. Fray Francisco Ponce de Leon, “Commander of the convent of the city of Jaén de Bracacamoros”, and Diego Vaca de Vega, Governor of Jaén, organized in 1619 an expedition down the Marañon to the Maynas. In 1619 they founded the mission of San Francisco Borja, which still exists as a settlement. The first baptisms of Indians took place 22 March, 1620. The year following, Father Ponce made an expedition lower down the Amazon, beyond the mouth of the Rio Huallaga where he came in contact with the Arawak tribes, to whom he preached, and some of whom he baptized. The Franciscans entered from the direction of Juaja or Tarma, toward Chanchamayo, in 1631, and 1635. The first foundation was at Quimiri, where a chapel was built. Two years later the founders, Father Gerónimo Ximénez, and Cristóval Larios, died at the hands of the Campas on the Péréné River. Work was not interrupted, however, and three years later (1640) there were established about the salt-hill of Vitoc seven chapels, each with a settlement of Indian converts. But in 1742 the appearance of Juan Santos Atahualpa occasioned an almost general uprising of the aborigines. Until then the missions had progressed remarkably. Some of the most savage tribes, like the Canibos, became at least partially reduced to obedience, and led a more sedate, orderly life. In 1725 the College of Ocopa was founded. All these gains (except the College of Ocopa and the regions around Tarma and Cajamarquilla) were lost until, after 1751, Franciscan missions again began to enter the lost territory, and even added more conquests among the fiercest Arawaks (Cashibos) on the Ucayali. Conversions in these regions have cost many martyrs, not less than sixty-four ecclesiastics having perished at the hands of Indians of Arawak stock in the years between 1637 and 1766. Missionary work among the Arawaks of Guyana and on the banks of the Orinoco began, in a systematic manner, in the second half of the seventeenth century, and was carried on, from the Spanish side, among the Maypures of the Orinoco, from the French side along the coast and the Essequibo River. Wars between France, England, and Holland, the indifferent, systemless ways of French colonization, but chiefly the constant incursion of the Caribs, interrupted or at least greatly obstructed the progress of missions.


      Last Paragraph:

      Ethnologically the Arawaks vary in condition. Those of Guyana seem to be partly sedentary. They call themselves Loknono. They are well built. Descent among them is in the female line, and they are polygamous. They are land-tillers and hunters. Their houses are sheds, open on the sides, and their weapons are bows, arrows, and wooden clubs. Their religious ideas are, locally varied, those of all Indians, animism or fetishism, with an army of shamans, or medicine-men, to uphold it. Of the Campas and the tribes comprised within the Pano group, about the same may be stated, with the difference that several of the tribes composing it are fierce cannibals, (Cashibos and Canibos). It must be observed, however, that cannibalism is, under certain conditions, practiced by all the forest tribes of South America, as well as by the Aymara of Bolivia. It is mostly a ceremonial practice, and, at the bottom, closely related to the custom of scalping.

      Publication information
      Written by Ad. F. Bandelier. Transcribed by M. Donahue.
      The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

      The “Letters of Columbus” contain the earliest information about the American Indians, and those described in his first letter, 22 February, 1493, were Arawaks. The report of Frey Roman Pane is found in the works of Fernando Colon, the Spanish original of which has not yet been found, but an Italian version of it was published in 1751. There are several editions. Quotations above are from Historia del Signor D. Hernando Columbo. Nelle quale s’ ha particulare & vera relazione della vita, e de fatti del’ Ammiraglio D. Christoforo Columbo Suo Padre (Venice, 1678), the translation is by Alfonso Ulloa. A first Spanish retranslation was published by Gonzalez Barcia in Historiadores primitiva de Indios (Madrid, 1749); a French version by Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg appears appended to the Relation des choses de Yucatan (Paris, 1864), and there is a second print in Spanish of recent date. La Casa, Historia de las Indias (two editions, one in the Documentos para la Historia del Espana); Brevissima Relacion de la Destruycion de las Indias (Seville, 1552), numerous editions and translations into various languages; Girolamo Benzoni; Historia del Mundo Nouvo (Venice, 1585); German translation, 1579; French, 1587; English, Hackluyt Society, History of the New World (London, 1857). Other sources: Oviedo y Valdez, Historia general y natural de las Indias (first print. Madrid, 1535, comprising only the first nineteen books; complete edition, Madrid, 1851); Gomara, Historia general de los hechos de los Castellanos &ca. (Madrid, 1601-15); other editions, and more accessible ones: Madrid, 1728-30, and Antwerp, 1728. On missions, references are (mentioning only the most prominent sources): the Relaciones geograficos de Indias (II and IV, Madrid, 1885 and 1897), which contain elaborate discussions of the expeditions of Salinas Loyola, and of Vaca de Vega, and documents relative to the ecclesiastics connected with them: cardova Salinas Coronica de la Religiosisima Provincia de los Doce Apostolos de Piru (Lima, 1651); Arriga, Extirpacion de la Idolatria del Piru (Lima, 1651); Calancha, Coronica moralizda de la oredn de San Augustin en el Piru (Lima, 1638; second part, 1653); Documentos ineditos de Indias. passim; C. Quandt, Nachricht von Surinam und Seinen Einwohnen (Gorlitz, 1807). An important vocabulary of the Shipibo dialect (Pano of the Beni) by Bishop Armentia has been published in the Buletin de la Sociedad de Geografica de la Paz. It is the most complete thusfar known. Literature on the Arawaks being so very abundant, many works cannot be mentioned here.

      Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


    16. Patti on May 5th, 2008 5:23 pm

      That was from the Catholic Dictionery


      Then I found it interesting that in Haiti, Catholics were permitted to practice Vodou. Look under History of the Haitian Vodou.

      Haitian Vodou
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      (January 2008)

      This article or section includes a list of references or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations.
      You can improve this article by introducing more precise citations.

      This article is about the syncretistic Haitian religion. For the West African religion, see West African Vodun. For the related tradition in Louisiana, see Louisiana Voodoo. For other uses, see Voodoo.

      Vodou ceremony, Jacmel, Haiti.Vodou (Anglicized: Voodoo) is a name attributed to a New World syncretistic religion, or family of religions, based on the faiths of the Fon, Ewe, and related peoples of West Africa (see West African Vodun), of the Kongo people of Central Africa (see Lemba), and of Christianity. It is found in areas of the African diaspora, especially Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Brazil. This article is primarily concerned with the form of the religion as it is practiced in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. See Louisiana Voodoo for the Afro-creole tradition of New Orleans, Santería and Arará for the forms local to Cuba, and Candomblé and Umbanda for Brazil.

      In Vodou [voo - doo], all Creation is divine and therefore contains divine power, which can be accessed by practitioners. The core functions of Vodou are to explain the forces of the universe, to influence those forces, and to influence human behavior. Vodou oral traditions carry genealogy, history, and fables. Adherents honor deities and venerate ancestors, both ancient and recent.

      When the word Vodou is capitalized, it denotes the religion. In lower case, it means the spirits of the religion.

      Contents [hide]
      1 African origins
      2 Haitian Vodou
      2.1 History
      2.1.1 Vodou and spiritualism
      2.2 Beliefs
      2.3 Liturgy and practice
      2.4 Values and ethics
      2.5 Orthodoxy and diversity
      3 Myths and misconceptions
      4 Notes
      5 References
      6 See also

      African origins

      Vodou original area

      The word voodoo derives from vod?, which in Fon, Ewe, and related language (distributed from contemporary Ghana to Benin) means spirit or divine creature (in the sense of divine creation).

      The cultural area of the Fon, Ewe, and Yoruba peoples share common metaphysical conceptions around a dual cosmological divine principle Nana Buluku, the God-Creator, and the vodou(s) or God-Actor(s), daughters and sons of the Creator’s twin children Mawu (goddess of the moon) and Lisa (god of the sun). The God-Creator is the cosmogonical principle and does not trifle with the mundane; the vodou(s) are the God-Actor(s) who actually govern earthly issues.

      The pantheon of vodoun is quite large and complex. In one version, there are seven male and female twins of Mawu, interethnic and related to natural phenomena or historical or mythical individuals, and dozens of ethnic Vodous, defenders of a certain clan or tribe.[citation needed]

      West African Vodun has its primary emphasis on the ancestors, with each family of spirits having its own specialized priest- and priestesshood which are often hereditary. In many African clans, deities might include Mami Wata, who are gods and goddesses of the waters; Legba, who in some clans is virile and young in contrast to the old man form he takes in Haiti and in many parts of Togo; Gu (or Ogoun), ruling iron and smithcraft; Sakpata, who rules diseases; and many other spirits distinct in their own way to West Africa.

      European colonialism, followed by totalitarian regimes in West Africa, suppressed Vodun as well as other forms of the religion. However, because the Vodou deities are born to each African clan-group, and its clergy is central to maintaining the moral, social, and political order and ancestral foundation of its villagers, it proved to be impossible to eradicate the religion. Though permitted by Haiti’s 1987 constitution, which recognizes religious equality, many books and films have sensationalized voodoo as black magic based on animal and human sacrifices to summon zombies and evil spirits.

      Today in West Africa, Vodun is estimated to be practised by over 30 million people. Vodoun became the official religion of Benin in 1996. Both American and Caribbean variations of the faith system center on ancestral spirits and two main pantheons of Lwas; tribal relationships are de-emphasized.

      Haitian Vodou

      In Haitian Vodou or Sèvis Lwa or “Service to the Spirits” in Haitian Creole (kreyòl ayisyen), there are strong elements from the Bakongo of Central Africa and the Igbo and Yoruba of Nigeria, although many different people or nations of Africa have representation in the liturgy of the Sèvis Lwa. Islam has also been noted in some services. Among these other nations are the **** Taíno and Arawak Indians ****, venerated as the indigenous population (and hence, a form of ancestors) of the island now known as Hispaniola. A large and significant portion of Haitian Vodou most often overlooked by scholars, especially English-speaking ones, until recently is the Kongo component. The entire Northern area of Haiti is especially influenced by Kongo practice. In the North, it is more often called Kongo Rite or Lemba, from the Lemba rites of the Loango area and Mayombe. In the south, Kongo influence is called Petwo (Petro). Many loas or lwas (also a Kikongo term) are of Kongo origin such as Basimbi, Lemba, etc.

      Haitian creole forms of Vodou exist in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, parts of Cuba, the United States, and other places that Haitian immigrants dispersed to over the years. However, it is important to note that the Vodoun religion existed in the United States, having been brought over by West Africans enslaved in America, specifically from the Ewe, Fon, Mina, Kabaye, and Nago groups. Some of its more enduring forms still exist in the Gullah Islands. There is a re-emergence of these Vodoun traditions in America, which maintains the same linealritual and cosmological elements as is practiced in West Africa. These and other African-diasporic religions such as Lukumi or Regla de Ocha (also known as Santería) in Cuba, Candomblé and Umbanda in Brazil, all religions that evolved among descendants of transplanted Africans in the Americas.


      The majority of the Africans who were brought as slaves to Haiti were from Western and Central Africa. The Vodoun practitioners brought over and enslaved in the United States primarily descend from the Ewe, Anlo-Ewe, and other West African groups.[citation needed] The survival of the belief systems in the New World is remarkable, although the traditions have changed with time and have even taken on some Catholic forms of worship. One of the largest differences, however, between African and Haitian Vodou is that the transplanted Africans of Haiti were obliged to disguise their loa (sometimes spelled lwa) or spirits as Roman Catholic saints, an element of a process called syncretism.

      Roman Catholicism was mixed into the religion to hide their “pagan” religion from their masters, who had forbidden them to practice it. Any practitioners caught doing anything outside of the Catholic religion would be subject to execution. To say that Haitian Vodou is simply a mix of West African religions with a veneer of Roman Catholicism would be correct. To this day, many uneducated Haitians practicing this religion will integrate Roman Catholic practices by including their prayers in the ceremony. Throughout the history of the island from the day of independence of 1804 to the present, missionaries repeatedly came over to the island to convert the Haitians back to the Christian religion into which they were forced. This has set many Haitians to project vodou as an evil religion, from the influence of the missionaries to abusive practitioners who use vodou to persecute. Practitioners want to convince other religious groups in the Haitian Islands that their religion involves God as much as Christianity.

      Vodou, as it is known in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora, is the result of the pressures of many different cultures and ethnicities of people being uprooted from Africa and imported to Hispaniola during the African slave trade. Under slavery, African culture and religion was suppressed, lineages were fragmented, and people pooled their religious knowledge and from this fragmentation became culturally unified. In addition to combining the spirits of many different African and Indian nations, Vodou has incorporated pieces of Roman Catholic liturgy to replace lost prayers or elements. Images of Catholic saints are used to represent various spirits or “mistè” (“mysteries”, actually the preferred term in Haiti), and many saints themselves are honored in Vodou in their own right. This syncretism allows Vodou to encompass the African, the Indian, and the European ancestors in a whole and complete way. It is truly a Kreyòl religion.

      The most historically important Vodou ceremony in Haitian history was the Bwa Kayiman or Bois Caïman ceremony of August 1791 that began the Haitian Revolution, in which the spirit Ezili Dantor possessed a priestess and received a black pig as an offering, and all those present pledged themselves to the fight for freedom. This ceremony ultimately resulted in the liberation of the Haitian people from French colonial rule in 1804, and the establishment of the first black people’s republic in the history of the world and the second independent nation in the Americas.

      Haitian vodou crossed over in the United States as early as the 1800s, but surfaced mainly in New Orleans. One practitioner that popularized it in the area was the famed Vodou Queen Marie Laveau, but other forms of vodou existed in the United States dating before the 1776 revolution. Because of the system imposed to slaves in all of the British colonies in the western hemisphere, many masters were able to control their slaves to make absolutely no attempt to practice any religion of African origin. Drum beats heard by the master in the American territory would cause slaves to be subject to punishment.

      Over the years Haitian Vodou had received a negative reputation by the ignorance of the Americans, Europeans and people throughout the world that were exposed to Haitians. Missionaries had reported it, but it wasn’t until the latter half of the 19th century that a book written in 1886 by Sir Spencer St. Johns, Hayti, or the Black Republic, accused Haitian Vodou practitioners of practicing cannibalism. Throughout the 20th century, Haitian Vodou was depicted by Hollywood as being an evil and menacing religion with spells by witch doctors and tales of zombies. However, by 1950, a film director named Maya Deren did a three-year research project from 1947 to 1950 in which she showed vodou as a religion of beauty and magnificence. She even wrote the book The Divine Horseman, which gives details about the religion.

      Though Vodou had a bad reputation in the early half of the 20th century in America and Haiti, by the 1960s Haitians migrating to the United Stated began to grow in greater numbers. Though the practice was acceptable but did not constitute a religion, Haitians began to expose its practice in the larger Haitian communities in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Philadelphia and even in Montreal and Paris. Though Haitians practiced and showed their vodou pride throughout the country and even during Mardi Gras, Haiti did not recognize vodou as a religion until April 4, 2003.

      Today Vodou is practiced not only by Haitians, but by Americans and people of many nationalities that are exposed to the Haitian culture. However, because of the demand some impose on vodou, high priests and priestesses began the abuse of exploiting their clients and asking high monetary funds for work that brings no result. It can be said that the culture of vodou is becoming a dying religion due to the greed of many who practice. It is known that the majority of Haitians involved in the practice have been initiated to become a Houngan or Mambo. In Haiti, a houngan or mambo is considered a person of possible high power and status who can make a significant amount of money. It’s a growing occupation in Haiti that attracts many impoverished citizen to practice this field, not only to have power but to have money as well. Many vodou practitioners with a hunger to live a life of money and power go into this field to exploit foreigners and Haitians who are uneducated about vodou into their web of scams to collect many monetary funds with exchange of poor quality work.

      [edit] Vodou and spiritualism
      Vodou is a religion/practice that is greatly concerned with spirits. Practitioners that participate may be exposed to the spirits carried by their ancestors that they once served. Those who don’t practice may be involved with great exposure to spiritual experiences. One way that those who participate or practice can have the spiritual experience is when one is possessed by the lwa. When the lwa comes on the practitioner, their body is being used by the spirit. At this point the spirit will perform acts that it desires to do. Some spirits can give prophecies of upcoming events or situation around the possessed one, also called “Chwal” or the “Horse of the Spirit.” When one is possessed, the possessed one has no conscious memory of what has occurred. There is no such thing as a partial possession but only full. Practitioners experience this as being a beautiful but very tiring experience. Most people who are possessed by the spirit get a feeling of blackness or energy flowing through their body as if they were being electrocuted. When this occurs, it is a sign that a possession is in the works. The practitioner has absolutely no recollection and in fact when the possessing spirit leaves the body, the possessed one is tired and wonders what has happened during the possession. Practitioners with this gift do not like being overexposed because it drains immense energy from them. Not many can have or do have this gift. This gift cannot be purchased but only the spirit/lwa can choose who it wants to possess, for the spirit may have a mission that it can carry out spiritually. Also, those possessed by the lwa may be at a very high spiritual level that their soul is at a mature advanced status.

      Practitioners who claim that they do not feel fatigue after every possession, or who are possessed by more than one spirit without feeling tired, are charlatans. They pretend to be possessed and act like they have the spirit on them without having any spirit present. Some of these false practices are done by people who want the attention or importance, because those who are possessed do carry a high importance in the ceremony as the enlightened. These practitioners with fake possession practice this by drinking to the point where their drunkenness creates a new character that is not recognized by others. Sometimes they pretend to have the possession but with a lwa that drinks and carry the act by drinking more. Others who do not drink just carry on the act until they conduct a lwa-like task that a human can’t perform and that’s when jeopardy hits the fake possessed person. Beware of these kinds of people. Vodou has some scam artists, just as many other religions have. This is due to the ego of one who wants to be noticed, respected and popular. The attention paid to the possessed one is great, but at the same time creates an individual thirst for power with no spiritual gifts to act out the role of the lwa.

      [edit] Beliefs
      Haitian Vodouisants believe, in accordance with widespread African tradition, that there is one God who is the creator of all, referred to as “Bondyè” (from the French “Bon Dieu” or “Good God”). Bondyè is distinguished from the God of “the whites” in a dramatic speech by the houngan Boukman at Bwa Kayiman, but is often considered the same God of other religions, such as Christianity and Islam. Bondyè is distant from His/Her/Its creation though, and so it is the spirits or the “mysteries”, “saints”, or “angels” that the Vodouisant turns to for help, as well as to the ancestors. Some Vodouisants do not believe in Bondyè, instead referring to Damballa as the Creator. Others will believe in both: with Damballa having a lesser role in creation. A Vodouisant will usually have an idea God, regardless of the relationship with Damballa (from identity with God, to Damballa being a lesser spirit).

      There are said to be twenty-one nations or “Nation” of spirits, also sometimes called “lwa-yo”. Some of the more important nations of lwa are the Rada (corresponding to the Gbe-speaking ethnic groups in the modern-day Republic of Benin, Nigeria, and Togo); the Nago (synonymous with the Yoruba-speaking ethnicities in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, and Togo); and the numerous West-Central African ethnicities united under the ethnonym Kongo. The spirits also come in “families” that all share a surname, like Ogou, or Ezili, or Azaka or Ghede. For instance, “Ezili” is a family, Ezili Dantor and Ezili Freda are two individual spirits in that family. The Ogou family are soldiers, the Ezili govern the feminine spheres of life, the Azaka govern agriculture, the Ghede govern the sphere of death and fertility. In Dominican Vodou, there is also an Agua Dulce or “Sweet Waters” family, which encompasses all Amerindian spirits. There are literally hundreds of lwa. Well known individual lwa include Danbala Wedo, Papa Legba Atibon, and Agwe Tawoyo.

      In Haitian Vodou, spirits are divided according to their nature of their nations. There are the nation of the Congo, Rada, Petwo, Nago, Dahomey, Ghede, and etc. The two popular categories the Haitian believers utilizes are the nation of the Petwo, the more aggressive and the Rada, the calmer spirits.

      Rada spirits are familial and congenial, while Petwo spirits are more combative and restless. Both can be dangerous if angry or upset, and despite claims to the contrary, neither is “good” or “evil” in relation to the other. Everyone is said to have spirits, and each person is considered to have a special relationship with one particular spirit who is said to “own their head”, however each person may have many lwa, and the one that owns their head, or the “met tet”, may or may not be the most active spirit in a person’s life in Haitian belief.

      In serving the spirits, the Vodouisant seeks to achieve harmony with their own individual nature and the world around them, manifested as personal power and resourcefulness in dealing with life. Part of this harmony is membership in and maintaining relationships within the context of family and community. A Vodou house or society is organized on the metaphor of an extended family, and initiates are the “children” of their initiators, with the sense of hierarchy and mutual obligation that implies.

      Most Vodouisants are not initiated, referred to as being “bossale”; it is not a requirement to be an initiate in order to serve one’s spirits. There are clergy in Haitian Vodou whose responsibility it is to preserve the rituals and songs and maintain the relationship between the spirits and the community as a whole (though some of this is the responsibility of the whole community as well). They are entrusted with leading the service of all of the spirits of their lineage. Priests are referred to as “Houngans” and priestesses as “Mambos”. Below the houngans and mambos are the hounsis, who are initiates who act as assistants during ceremonies and who are dedicated to their own personal mysteries.

      One does not serve just any lwa but only the ones they “have” according to one’s destiny or nature. Which spirits a person “has” may be revealed at a ceremony, in a reading, or in dreams. However all Vodouisants also serve the spirits of their own blood ancestors, and this important aspect of Vodou practice is often glossed over or minimized in importance by commentators who do not understand the significance of it. The ancestor cult is in fact the basis of Vodou religion, and many lwa like Agasou (formerly a king of Dahomey) for example are in fact ancestors who are said to have been raised up to divinity.

      [edit] Liturgy and practice
      After a day or two of preparation setting up altars, ritually preparing and cooking fowl and other foods, etc., a Haitian Vodou service begins with a series of Catholic prayers and songs in French, then a litany in Kreyòl and African “langaj” that goes through all the European and African saints and lwa honored by the house, and then a series of verses for all the main spirits of the house. This is called the “Priyè Gine” or the African Prayer. After more introductory songs, beginning with saluting the spirit of the drums named Hounto, the songs for all the individual spirits are sung, starting with the Legba family through all the Rada spirits, then there is a break and the Petwo part of the service begins, which ends with the songs for the Gede family. As the songs are sung spirits will come to visit those present by taking possession of individuals and speaking and acting through them. There are some cases where some practitioners who seek attention would pretend to get possessed. There are times when the houngan would drink until he is very drunk at the end of the ceremony. Some practitioners of these vodou ceremony fall into being fooled by the vodou priest. When a ceremony is made, only the family of those possessed is benefited. This is the greatest time these mambo or houngan can take your luck if they ask for champagne from you. Beware when that occurs. Sometimes these ceremony have some dispute going among the singers because of the way its sung. In Haiti, these vodou ceremonies, depending on the Priest or Priestess, may be more organized. But in the United States, vodou practitioner and the priests/priestess takes it as a folly party. Each spirit is saluted and greeted by the initiates present and will give readings, advice and cures to those who approach them for help. Many hours later in morning, the last song is sung, guests leave, and all the exhausted hounsis and houngans and manbos can go to sleep.

      On the individual’s household level, a Vodouisant or “sèvitè”/”serviteur” may have one or more tables set out for their ancestors and the spirit or spirits that they serve with pictures or statues of the spirits, perfumes, foods, and other things favored by their spirits. The most basic set up is just a white candle and a clear glass of water and perhaps flowers. On a particular spirit’s day, one lights a candle and says an Our Father and Hail Mary, salutes Papa Legba and asks him to open the gate, and then one salutes and speaks to the particular spirit like an elder family member. Ancestors are approached directly, without the mediating of Papa Legba, since they are said to be “in the blood”.

      [edit] Values and ethics
      The cultural values that Vodou embraces center around ideas of dishonor and greed – to the family and society, and to oneself. There is also a notion of relative propriety — and what is appropriate to someone with Dambala Wedo as their head may be different from someone with Ogou Feray as their head. For example, one spirit is very cool and the other is very hot. Coolness overall is valued, and so is the ability and inclination to protect oneself and one’s own if necessary. Love and support within the family of the Vodou society seems to be the most important consideration. Generosity in giving to the community and to the poor is also an important value. One’s blessings come through the community and there is the idea that one should be willing to give back to it in turn. There are no “solitaries” in Vodou, only people separated geographically from their elders and house. A person without a relationship of some kind with elders will not be practicing Vodou as it is understood in Haiti and among Haitians.

      In the view of some the Haitian Vodou religion is an ecstatic rather than a fertility based tradition and because of this, the religion has technically no prohibitions against gay men and lesbian women. Although homophobia is a world-wide phenomenon and may be prevalent in Vodou-practicing countries, a homosexual can practise Vodou with no doctrinal issues. In Haiti, for example, Vodou is normally the only spiritual outlet a homosexual will have.

      [edit] Orthodoxy and diversity
      There is a diversity of practice in Vodou across the country of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. For instance in the north of Haiti the lave tèt (“head washing”) or kanzwe may be the only initiation, as it is in the Dominican Republic and Cuba, whereas in Port-au-Prince and the south they practice the kanzo rites with three grades of initiation – kanzo senp, si pwen, and asogwe – and the latter is the most familiar mode of practice outside of Haiti. Some lineages combine both, as Manbo Katherine Dunham reports from her personal experience in her book the Possessed Island.

      While the overall tendency in Vodou is very conservative in accord with its African roots, there is no singular, definitive form, only what is right in a particular house or lineage. Small details of service and the spirits served will vary from house to house, and information in books or on the internet therefore may seem contradictory. There is no central authority or “pope” in Haitian Vodou since “every manbo and houngan is the head of their own house”, as a popular saying in Haiti goes. Another consideration in terms of Haitian diversity are the many sects besides the Sèvi Gine in Haiti such as the Makaya, Rara, and other secret societies, each of which has its own distinct pantheon of spirits.

      [edit] Myths and misconceptions
      Vodou has come to be associated in the popular mind with the lore about Satanism, zombies and “voodoo dolls.” While there is evidence of zombie creation,[1] it is a minor phenomenon within rural Haitian culture and not a part of the Vodou religion as such. Such things fall under the auspices of the bokor or sorcerer rather than the priest of the Loa.

      The practice of sticking pins in dolls has history in European folk magic, but its exact origins are unclear. How it became known as a method of cursing an individual by some followers of what has come to be called New Orleans Voodoo, which is a local variant of hoodoo, is a mystery. Some speculate that it was used as a means of self defense to intimidate superstitious slave owners[citation needed]. This practice is not unique to New Orleans voodoo, however, and has as much basis in European-based magical devices such as the poppet and the nkisi or bocio of West and Central Africa.

      These are in fact power objects, what in Haiti would be referred to as pwen, rather than magical surrogates for an intended target of sorcery whether for boon or for bane. Such voodoo dolls are not a feature of Haitian religion, although dolls intended for tourists may be found in the Iron Market in Port au Prince. The practice became closely associated with the Vodou religions in the public mind through the vehicle of horror movies and popular novels.

      There is a practice in Haiti of nailing crude poppets with a discarded shoe on trees near the cemetery to act as messengers to the otherworld, which is very different in function from how poppets are portrayed as being used by voodoo worshippers in popular media and imagination, ie. for purposes of sympathetic magic towards another person. Another use of dolls in authentic Vodou practice is the incorporation of plastic doll babies in altars and objects used to represent or honor the spirits, or in pwen, which recalls the aforementioned use of bocio and nkisi figures in Africa.

      Although Voodoo is often associated with Satanism, Satan is primarily an Abrahamic figure and has not been incorporated in Voodoo tradition. When Mississippi Delta folksongs mix references to Voodoo and to Satan, what is being expressed is social pain such as from racism. Those who practice voodoo are not attempting to worship or invoke the blessings of a devil.

      Further adding to the dark reputation of Voodoo was the 1973 film adaptation of the thriller Live and Let Die, part of Ian Fleming’s widely successful James Bond series, which had been continually in print in both the English original and translations to numerous languages. Fleming’s depiction of the schemings of a fiendish Soviet agent using Voodoo to intimidate and control a vast network of submissive Black followers got an incomparably greater audience than any careful scholarly work on the subject of Voodoo. (See Mr. Big, Baron Samedi.)

      [edit] Notes
      ^ Davis, Wade. Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie.

      [edit] References
      Ajayi, Ade, J.F. & Espie , Ian, A Thousand Years of West African History, Great Britain, University of Ibadan, 1967.
      Alapini Julien, Le Petit Dahomeen, Grammaire. Vocabulaire, Lexique En Langue Du Dahomey, Avignon, Les Presses Universelles, 1955.
      Anderson, Jeffrey. 2005. Conjure In African American Society. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
      Argyle, W.J., The Fon of Dahomey: A History and Ethnography of the Old Kingdom, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1966.
      Chesi, Gert, Voodoo: Africa’s Secret Power, Austria, Perliner, 1980.
      Chireau, Yvonne. 2003. Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition. Berkeley: University of California Press.
      Cosentino, Donald. 1995. “Imagine Heaven” in Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. Edited by Cosentino, Donald et al. Berkeley: University of California Press.
      Decalo, Samuel, Historical Dictionary of Dahomey, (People’s Republic of Benin), N.J., The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1976.
      Ellis, A.B., The Ewe Speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West Africa, Chicago, Benin Press Ldt, 1965.
      Fandrich, Ina. 2005. The Mysterious Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveaux: A Study of Powerful Female Leadership in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans. New York: Routledge.
      Le Herisee, A. & Rivet, P., The Royanume d’Ardra et son evangelisation au XVIIIe siecle, Travaux et Memories de “‘Institut d’Enthnologie, no. 7, Paris, 1929.
      Long, Carolyn. 2001. Spiritual Merchants: Magic, Religion and Commerce. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.
      Saint-Lot, Marie-José Alcide. 2003. Vodou: A Sacred Theatre. Coconut Grove: Educa Vision, Inc.
      Tallant, Robert. “Reference materials on voodoo, folklore, spirituals, etc. 6-1 to 6-5 -Published references on folklore and spiritualism.” The Robert Tallant Papers. New Orleans Public Library. fiche 7 and 8, grids 1-22. Accessed 5 May 2005.
      Thornton, John K. 1988. “On the trail of Voodoo: African Christianity in Africa and the Americas” The Americas Vol: 44.3 Pp 261-278.
      Vanhee, Hein. 2002. “Central African Popular Christianity and the Making of Haitian Vodou Religion.” in Central Africans and Cultural Transformations in the American Diaspora Edited by: L. M. Heywood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 243-64.
      Verger, Pierre Fátúmbí, Dieux d’Afrique: Culte des Orishas et Vodouns à l’ancienne Côte des Esclaves en Afrique et à Bahia, la Baie de Tous Les Saints au Brésil. 1954.
      Ward, Martha. 2004. Voodoo Queen: The Spirited Lives of Marie Laveau Jackson: University of Mississippi Press.
      Warren, Dennis, D., The Akan of Ghana, Accra, Pointer Limited, 1973. 9.

    17. Patti on May 5th, 2008 5:28 pm

      Note the Taino and Arawak Indians

      See **** >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> right margin


    18. Patti on May 5th, 2008 5:34 pm


      In Haitian Vodou or Sèvis Lwa or “Service to the Spirits” in Haitian Creole (kreyòl ayisyen), there are strong elements from the Bakongo of Central Africa and the Igbo and Yoruba of Nigeria, although many different people or nations of Africa have representation in the liturgy of the Sèvis Lwa. Islam has also been noted in some services. Among these other nations are the **** Taíno and Arawak Indians ****, venerated as the indigenous population (and hence, a form of ancestors) of the island now known as Hispaniola. A large and significant portion of Haitian Vodou most often overlooked by scholars, especially

    19. Patti on May 5th, 2008 5:41 pm

      So if anyone asks you if Arawaks

      practice spiritism…

      Now we know.

      I still haven’t found their calendar for 2005.


    20. richard on May 5th, 2008 10:30 pm

      Patti … You might enjoy reading the following book:

      “The Magic Island,” by William Seabrook. He was in some kind of vogue in the 1920s and 1930s, and among other things went to Haiti and witnessed voodoo rituals … or so he said.

      (He also went to Africa, met a tribe that still practiced cannibalism on occasion, and sampled human flesh … again, or so he said.)

    21. Patti on May 6th, 2008 1:26 pm


      I’m not interested in reading a book about voodoo rituals. I only want to show that the reason that so many Arawaks call themselves Catholic is because the Catholic churches allow their members to practice their heritage…

      even if it goes beyond what is Christian…

      right to the heart of Satanism.


      One thing that was interesting is that

      the Haitians say they don’t acknowledge


      How clever he is.


      Catholics, my ass….


    22. Patti on May 6th, 2008 1:29 pm


      Who was the priest that acted ashamed

      when he was approached by Dave?


      Who was the priest that died within

      weeks of Natalee’s death?

    23. The Jack Berry News on June 21st, 2011 10:44 am

      Jack we at http://www.Expediteinsight.com are still in mourning.

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