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Bondye, the Good God of Vodou


Possessed Pilgrim
David Stewart-Smith / Contributor
Bondye is the highest principle in the universe and is responsible for both the universal order and human activity. He is the wholeness of the human community and is the origin of all life, which ultimately belongs to him.


He is sometimes referred to as "the good god" (although there is no corresponding "evil god"), and goodness is measured by how much an action increases or decreases Bondye's power in the world. Thus, things that strengthen community and protect life are good, while things that destroy either are bad.

Bondye and the Lwas:

Like many other monotheistic deities, Bondye, is a remote being, too far beyond human understanding for direct interaction. Instead, Bondye manifests his will through the lwa, which manifest as forces that impact the lives of humanity on a daily basis. Vodou ceremonies therefore focus upon the lwa rather than on Bondye, and Bondye never manifests through possession as lwa commonly do.
Vodou is most known for its lwa, the spirits with which Vodouisants regularly interact, making offerings to them and often being possessed by them so that the visiting lwa can directly interact with the community. Outsiders sometimes mistakenly label the lwa as gods, but this is incorrect. They are spirits who in many ways act as intermediaries between the physical world and Bondye, the single god of Vodou.
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