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Marie Laveau and The Akan

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Marie Laveau and the Gullah Geechee

What is Pan African tradition in the Diaspora? Come learn Marie Laveau and the Gullah Geechee

The New Orleans style of voodoo derives from the cultures of Benin’s Dahomey Empire, the Yoruba and the Akan. It is an Afro-creole tradition. Creole is a Portuguese word meaning “home born”. It does not mean people of a lighter skin tone. Therefore Afro-creole refers to the Afrakans born into the system of slavery. Because of this unique blend, New Orleans style of voodoo is better termed Gri Gri.

The Gri Gri tradition has a long history of female leaders. Marie Laveau, a “mulatto” immigrant from Haiti, is the most famous priestess of this tradition.

Gullah Geechee Nation

Another culture with a unique blend is the Gullah Geechee Nation. Geechee culture is a blend of Igbo, Fula, Mende and other Akan ethnic groups. They were kidnapped and imprisoned on the island of Gullah off the coast of the Carolinas and exploited for their agricultural knowledge to cultivate rice and other cash crops.

The Gullah Geechee culture was born from the efforts of these Afrakans to remember and relive their traditions. The word Geechee is derived from the Ogeechee River in Savanah Georgia.   

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