Les trois marassa

by Guidel Presume


marassa.jpg (56510 bytes)

Les Trois Marassa


The Marassa -- Twins-- constitute one of the more perplexing entities of the Haitian religion, beginning with the point that there are sometimes three of them. As Maya Deren put it, "In Vodoun, one and one make three." The Marassa are immensely powerful and often but not always sinister. Deren interprets them as "the affirmation of cosmic unity."

But these Marassa appear by a tomb, in a position which recalls the division of the elements of the living being after death. The flesh goes into the ground, but two components of the soul, the ti bon ange and the gros bon ange, continue on the metaphysical plane, in a fashion which may be benevolent or sinister. Proper observance of ritual, as well as propitiary sacrifice, is needed to ensure the former; this is a moment of risk for the soul.

Affaire de Nuit