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The CaribbeanAesthetics, World-Ecology, Politics$
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Chris Campbell and Michael Niblett

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382950

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382950.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 06 June 2020

Gade nan mizè-a m tonbe: Vodou, the 2010 Earthquake, and Haiti’s Environmental Catastrophe

Gade nan mizè-a m tonbe: Vodou, the 2010 Earthquake, and Haiti’s Environmental Catastrophe

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter Three Gade nan mizè-a m tonbe: Vodou, the 2010 Earthquake, and Haiti’s Environmental Catastrophe
Source:
The Caribbean
Author(s):

Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781382950.003.0005

In this chapter, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert considers the connection between environmental catastrophe and religious discourse. In “Gade nan mizè-a m tonbe”, a Vodou song dedicated to the lwa Bwa Nan Bwa (Tree in the Woods), the singer asks the spirit to look at the misery into which he has fallen. Guided by this affecting song, the chapter explores how Haiti’s faith in Vodou – already threatened by the nation’s severe environmental crisis – was badly shaken by the January 2010 earthquake and its aftermath. The song poignantly reminds us what Haiti’s severe deforestation has meant for religious practices and beliefs in the country. The chapter looks at the links between Haiti’s environmental predicament (the fate of its trees), its ongoing cholera outbreak, the crisis of faith unleashed by the January 2010 earthquake, and the nature of forest spirits like Bwa Nan Bwa.

Keywords:   ecology, catastrophe, Haiti, vodou, deforestation, cultural forms

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