Who is the Bokor

Bokors are featured in many Haitian tales and are often associated with the creation of ‘zombies’ by the use of a deadening brew or potion usually containing poison extracted from puffer fish. This potion makes the drinker appear to be dead and thus he is often buried; later, the bokor will return for the “corpse” and force it to do his bidding, such as manual labor. The “corpse” is often given deliriant drugs, mainly datura, which puts them in a detached, somewhat dreamlike state. Its state is likened to being mind controlled. The person is alive but in a state where they cannot control what they say or do; at this point, when the person has been “reanimated” from the grave, or at least is moving about working for the bokor, they can be termed “zombies.” However, some legends dispense with this more rational explanation, and have the bokor raise zombies from dead bodies whose souls have departed.

Also, bokors are said to work with zombi/zombie astrals – souls or spirits which are captured in a fetish and made to enhance the Bokor’s power. Bokors normally work with Loas Baron Samedi, Kalfou, Legba and Simbi (snake loa) plus in some cases they are said to work with Grand Bois, the loa of the forest.

Bokors are similar to the “root workers” of voodoo and New Orleans voodoo. Some may be priests of a vodou house. Bokor are usually chosen from birth, those who are believed to bear a great ashe (power). A Bokor can be, by worldy terms, good or evil, though some sources (Judeo-Christian) consider him an evil version of a houngan.

Ghede

Papa Ghede is supposed to be the corpse of the first man who ever died. He is recognized as a short, dark man with a high hat on his head, who likes to smoke cheap cigars and eat apples. Papa Ghede is a psychopomp who waits at the crossroads to take souls into the afterlife. He is considered the good counterpart to Baron Samedi.

Mauby

Mauby

A nice tropical drink, when I lived on the island, I always had a tall glass of Mauby, the ice clinging in the glass as I sat on the backdoor steps in the backyard watching the butterflies go from the rode bushes to the hibiscus trees. Listening to Bob Marley on the boombox.