Cholera in Haiti: The Work of Marinette-Bwa-Chech?

by mari

via Daily Prompt: Promises

The science is simply irrefutable.

The gods of a myth system can be more or less human. In the transference of Catholicism to Haiti, which brought the good but highfalutin Bondye (the creole moniker for God) there was left a cultural vacuum, filled exuberantly by the more human Loa spirits of Haitian Voodoo.

The Loa are African in origin, of course. Haitian Loa are a mélange of African spirits—from Togo (the seat of the capricious Kings of Dahomey), southwestern Nigeria (Yorubaland) and the Congo. Some spirits—appropriately characterized as raw, carnal, adolescent rough-and-ready types—have arisen in the past few centuries on Haiti itself.

The landscape of Haiti has changed: geographically, socially, culturally. There are no more stark and insoluble injustices, like racial subordination. Instead, there is a certain disrespectability about the political order, shrouding it in a mourning veil of perpetual penitence: a crawling corruption, which the twin Loa of greed and avarice observe gleefully from the [illegally sourced] Hispaniolan woodwork.

When their green woodlands are razed for new developments, the remarkably adaptable animal life of the American Southeast takes to the suburbs, forgoing the golden leaf litter of the forest ravine for the humble porch stoop.

May we similarly suggest that the clear-cutting of the Hispaniolan pines has forced the forest-dwelling Loa to fly to the homely developments around Port-au-Prince and the Caribbean coast?

There they nest under corrugated tin roofs, under tarpaulins, in water-filled potholes, in the shabbily ostentatious tents of charismatic shamans who reek a little of rice wine.

Modern belief systems have relegated Voodoo superstition to the steampunk graveyard and the tourist’s curiosity shop.

Image result for haitian loa

Marinette-Bwa-Chech, dry-armed Loa sorceress with a true island temperament, was unable to bear the indignity of spiritual abandonment and swore revenge. When the dread spectre of Cholera arrived to the island on its maiden voyage in 2010—brought by Nepalese peacekeepers—in the wake of the earthquake, Marinette put all her energies towards its rapid spread: collapsing levees, overtaxing reservoirs, directing the contamination with a dowsing rod so that it leeched into clean wells.

And she alighted in politicians’ ears and whispered stultifying things so that, over pressing emergency legislation, they could only stare at each other glassily and do nothing.

It is this, more than anything, that has led to the repeated hindrance of international efforts to eradicate the dread Choler on the island of Hispaniola.

A formal petition to imprison the remorseless old Marinette-Bwa-Chech! Let us hear your AMEN!

A like, of course, would be equally acceptable