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Vodou Lwa and His Veve


Damballah veve
Catherine Beyer

Damballah-Wedo is depicted as a serpent or snake, and his veves reflect this aspect of him. When he possesses a human, he does not speak but instead only hisses and whistles. His movements are also snake-like, and can including slithering along the ground, flicking his tongue, and climbing tall objects.

Damballah-Wedo is associated with creation and is viewed as a loving father to the world. His presence brings peace and harmony. As a source of life, he is also strongly associated with water and the rain.

Damballah-Wedo is strongly associated with the ancestors, and he and his companion Ayida-Wedo are the oldest and wisest of the loa.

Ayida-Wedo is likewise associated with snakes and is Damballah's partner in creation. Because the creative process is seen as shared between male and female, Damballah-Wedo's veves generally depict two snakes rather than just one.

Other names: Damballa, Damballah Weddo, Da, Papa Damballa, Obatala
Loa Family: Rada
Gender: Male
Associated Catholic Saint: St. Patrick (who drove the snakes out of Ireland); Sometimes also associated with Moses, whose staff transformed into a snake to prove the power of God over that wielded by Egyptian priests
Holiday: March 17 (St. Patrick's Day)
Offerings: An egg on a mound of flour; corn syrup; chickens; other white objects such as white flowers.
Color(s): White

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