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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/8/10

Avatar parallels: The Warrior Mother, Vodun and the Sky People

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Ezili Dantà of HLLN onstage performing Journey of the Serpent and the Moon in Red, Black & Moonlight: Between Falling and Hitting the Ground

Avatar Parallels
in real-life Haitian history, mythology and as reflected in Ezili Dantà 's Vodun Jazzoetry performance series

In the Avatar sci-fi movie (which I wrote a review about - The Avatar Movie From A Black Perspective), the white invaders are called the Sky People. I decided to post this information on the spiritual mother of Haiti; the archetype for love or the vibrational energy of the warrior mother and this Carnegie Hall video because a line from the Carnegie performance reminded me of the Avatar movie.In Cameron's film, psyching up the Na'vi for war against the human invaders, Jake Sully, the liberator of the Na'vis, says something like this:
The Sky People have sent us a message: that they can take whatever they want and no one can stop them. But we will send them a message. You ride out as fast as the wind can carry you, and you tell the other clans to come...and tell them Toruk Makto calls to them! And you fly now, with me, my brothers, sisters. And we will show the Sky People, that they cannot take whatever they want! And that this... This is our land.

In real life, my people the Haitians, spent 300-years under Euro-enslavement in the land of the Taino called Ayiti (Haiti). The Africans who became Haitians in the land of the Taino/Arawak Amerindians were enslaved by the Sky People, to use Avatar parlance - first, under the Spanish and than the French. Haiti is the place in the Western Hemisphere where the white settlers first committed genocide - they mostly annihilated the entire native population of Tainos before transporting Africans they enslaved to work the gold mines and sugar plantations. Haiti's liberator is the African warrior, Janjak Desalin (Jean Jacques Dessalines). (See, Haiti's Founding Father - The Women who Influenced him, his Ideals and Legacy and the Three Ideals of Dessalines.)

When I wrote the performance piece, Red, Black & Moonlight, over a decade ago, I was recounting the triumph of the African ancestors over the enslavers, the role of the warrior mother, and what the noise of the continuing Haitian struggle still does to me. The paragraph in my performance piece which has a parallel in Avatar's script, is this:

Dessalines had reconstructed the very soul of the Sun.
Tearing a fork deep inside a flying clothe's, not one, not two, but 300-year gravitational pull.

He'd arched the sky spirit back into mother earth again. Igniting Alkebulan's liquid fires, raising the first flame: Petwo's redemptive red.

Ezili Dantà performs at Carnegie Hall

Ezili Dantà of HLLN performing 'Red, Black & Moonlight' at Carnegie Hall (2004) from her one-woman Jazzoetry Vodun show - The Red, Black & Moonlight Performance series. For more information, see also the Bio of Ezili Dantà , the spiritual mother of Haiti. The archetype for love, vibrational energy of the warrior mother

In Vodun, Ezili Dantà is the symbol of the irreducible essence of that ancient Black mother, mother of all the races, who holds Haiti's umbilical chord back to Africa, back to Anba Dlo. Calling on her essence, breath, vision and cosmic power brought forth Haiti's release from 300-hundred years of brutal European enslavement. Her parallel in Avatar could be Eywa, the Na'vi mother earth diety.

Symbol of Ezili Dantà , the Haitian Warrior Mother

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Vodun is as old as creation and it's the Light and Beauty of Haiti


In Vodun, Ezili Dantà watches over and cares for her children. When the enslaved Africans where forcibly converted to Catholicism in Haiti, they chose the image of the Madonna holding a child, specifically the dark Mater Salvatoris you see above to represent their Vodun warrior/goddess, Ezili Dantà . They chose the Saint Patrick iconography to represent Danbala and Ayida Wedo, the Haitian god and goddess of creation, because the snakes at St. Patrick's feet were the form of Danbala and Ayido Wedo's Kongo and Dahomean symbols, their và và .

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Human Rights Lawyer, Èzili Dantò is dedicated to correcting the media lies and colonial narratives about Haiti. An award winning playwright, a performance poet, author and lawyer, Èzili Dantò is founder of the Haitian (more...)

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