Secrets of Voodoo traces the development of this complex religion (in Haiti and the Americas) from its sources in the brilliant civilizations of ancient Africa. This book presents a straightforward account of the gods or loas and their function, the symbols and signs, rituals, the ceremonial calendar of Voodoo, and the procedures for performing magical rites are given.
"Voodoo," derived from words meaning "introspection" and "mystery," is a system of belief about the formation of the world and human destiny with clear correspondences in other world religions. Rigaud makes these connections and discloses the esoteric meaning underlying Voodoo's outward manifestations, which are often misinterpreted. Translated from the French by Robert B. Cross. Drawings and photographs by Odette Mennesson-Rigaud.
Milo Rigaud was born in Port au Prince, Haiti, in 1903, where he spent the greater part of his life studying the Voodoo tradition. In Haiti he studied law, and in France ethnology, psychology, and theology. The involvement of Voodoo in the political struggle of Haitian blacks for independence was one of his main concerns.