Vodou is a religion freighted with mischaracterizations, down to its very name, which is frequently styled incorrectly as “voodoo.” Among practitioners, the word is considered a pejorative. (Indeed, 10 years ago, after a petition by Vodou scholars and leaders, the Library of Congress adapted the spelling to Vodou.) The ancient, nature-based religion also has suffered from untrue stereotypes in popular culture involving zombies and dangerous spells. For centuries Haitians have practiced Vodou as a holistic way of life, brought to Haiti from West Africa by enslaved people. Vodou is at the core of Haitian identity.
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