In the events of 1982, Wade Davis, an ethno botanist traveled to Haiti to investigate on the history of Haitian zombies. In his investigations, he found out that living beings can be turned into zombies with some unique powders’ such as Tetrodotoxin and Datura. When these two powders are combined together, they may force a living being to get induced in a deathlike state there after fully controlled by the voodoo priest known as the Bokor. What followed next was the awakening of the bodies. Essentially, the zombies would hang around the graveyards as they had the ideal knowledge of their situation. The concept of zombies is still an enigma to the current generation. For some, zombies are just some folktales that are mostly elaborated through movies while to some other groups, zombies do exist, and their presence is factual. It emanates from the religious culture of the Haitians known as Vodoun.
Vodoun is a subset of Haitian rituals. Participants serve spirits through ritual ceremonies. This is a spiritual experience that amalgamates the body to the soul. The Vodoun belief system was viewed as a combination of both the Christian and African religious ideas and practices combined with black magic. From the early years, Vodoun was the majority religion of the slaves primarily in the countryside.
The Haitian zombies are described as corpse animated through magical or spiritual means. In precise, a person may die and be transformed into a living dead either through magic or spiritual methods combined with some of the special powers. These living dead creatures are hypnotized so as to perform some slave labor for their masters who are the voodoo priests. These creatures are selectively hypnotized beings who despite it all still respond to stimuli and commands from their masters.
The Haitian concept of zombies through the ambiguous word religion has acted as an inspiration to filmmakers in the Euro-American notion. Since both the theory and religion are still thwarted in mystery, fictitious literature and films on the two have highly eroded the reality behind them. Many who do not know about this religion have according to Andric Meraux viewed it with a negative perspective on visions of mysterious deaths, secret rites and dark Saturnalia. The writings in literature with inadequate knowledge in the voodoo beliefs have on various occasions given the negative portrays to the oblivious society. This has forced the facts to wane in the presence of films and literature purposed to amuse the viewers and readers.
According to the Haitian culture, zombies were not a symbol of the horror of the living, in fact, they were not dreaded by them but the negative portraits of zombies aired by horror movies has seen the false belief of cannibalistic zombies evolve quite remarkably over time to the extent of the former, losing the real definition of a zombie according to the Haitian perspective. The initial Haitian imaginary of the passive zombie was immediately discarded and overtaken by the highly mobile, aggressive and cannibalistic Euro-American portrays on zombies.
The western culture has managed to give a different perspective of their view on zombies particularly through their iconic film industry. They have managed to give the zombie impression of living dead creatures with cannibalistic characteristic who are fast moving and aggressive while attacking the living. This is quite different from what the Haitians believe in the terminology of zombies. This film's imagination has brought up the significant fear of the dreadful nature of zombies within people but in the case of Haiti, they are not scared or dreaded by the zombies but by the Bokor who has the black magic power to change a living being into a zombie.
The Haitian peasantry society believed in the existence of zombies despite the persistence critique from the western culture who viewed them as an ignorant society believing in myths.
The creation of zombies has for long been referenced with the Haitian culture in the rural settings. According to the Haitian culture, the concept of zombies was enacted by the chemistry of powerful powders combined with some mental and cultural cult within the burden beliefs. The Bokors who were the voodoo priests used some black magic to help resurrect the dead through the administration of the powerful powder and enslave them to perform random duties for them.
The changing of a living being in a zombie was termed as the zombification, and it was seen as the most severe punishment that could be handed over to an errant individual by a secret society through a voodoo priest. The making of a zombie was seen as punitive measures for culprits and offenders whose societal measure of justice was not sufficient for the crime committed. The Vuduon priest would completely destroy the spirit and take charge of the body where he/she would completely subject it to slavery and the zombie will forever remain his subject. This made them be viewed as prisoners of the Vodoun priests who created them. Conversely from the Euro-American concept, many Haitians were not scared of the zombies but of the voodoo priests that make them. The fear was in becoming a zombie, to be enslaved by the powerful Bokor and deprived of all your free will, as zombies would forever remain slaves to their masters.
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