The Nago Lwa

The Nago Nation primarily come from the Spirits that came to Haiti from the area of Africa now known as Nigeria, but at the time was still known as the Yoruba nation.  The Youruba nation were sent all over the Caribbean during the transatlantic slave trade.  They took root in Cuba and Brasil and here the religious traditions and Spirits of Yorubaland really thrived, becoming what we now call Santeria/Lukumi and Candomble, but in Haiti the Spirits of the Yoruba [known as Oricha] became a part of the Vodou liturgy within the Nago rite.

The Nago are strong Spirits, and although served with the Asson as are the Rada Spirits, they really fall somewhere in between Rada and Petro in personality and nature.  Many of them are warriors, fighters, spirits of war and fire, spirits that in life stood for what they believed in without wavering.  Some walk closer with the Rada Spirits, while others walk closer to the Petro.  They are all hot in nature, fierce fighters and unbeatable protectors of those they care for, or those who call on them.  There is a song that we sing for Ogou Feray that says:

A moim oh Feray oh! Sa pa jodi a, yo lome nom mwen
A moim oh Feray oh! Sa pa jodi a, yo lome nom mwen
Depi aye a yo lome nom mwen,
Depi aye a yo lome nom mwen
A moin of Feray oh!  Auko mwen danjeve!

It’s me, Feray, not just today, they call my name
It’s me, Ogou Feray, not just today, they call my name
Since Ancient times, they call my name.  Since Ancient times, they call my name
It’s me, Oh Feray Oh!  And I’m still dangerous.

Ogou Feray is really the epitome of what the Nago Nation are.  He is saying here that He has been around for a long time, and that people have been calling on him since ancient times, in ancient Africa.  He is telling us that even though he has always been called on, he is still with us, he is still here, he is still reading to protect and fight for those that call on him.  Whichever member of the Nago Nation walks with you, they too will be present for you, ready for your call to help, protect, defend and inspire.

There are many Ogou, but amongst the most popular are:

  • Ossange – the gate keeper of the Nago rite
  • Saint Jacques Majeur – the General of the Nago rite, beloved of Erzulie Freda
  • Met Nago – The fire of Nago Nation
  • Jean Paul Nago – Spirit of power, fire, strength and defense
  • Ogou Feray – Captain of the forces of St. Jacques, spirit of Blacksmiths, husband of Erzulie Dantor
  • Ogou Panama – Flight Captain
  • Ogou Balendjo – Navy Captain and Medic
  • Ogou Johnson – Spirit of Firefighters
  • Ogou Balize – master of clearing the woods
  • Brize
  • Ogou Balomi
  • Ogou Demannier – The Ogou of duality, of balance, this Ogou is gay and he is straight, male and female, he reflects diametrically opposed opposites and conquers them
  • Ogou Ge Rouge – Ogou Red Eyes, the fierceness of the Ogou Nation
  • Gran’ Batala – Father of Soldiers, Master of Peace, he is from the Yoruba people and is very much like Obatala in the Lukumi traditions
  • Ogou Batala – Youthful soldier, often mistaken for the Obatala, but this Spirit is more like the younger warrior path of Obatala rather than the older more peaceful paths.
  • Ogou Badagris –  The wiser older spirit of temperament in battle
  • Joseph Danger

Many of the Nago nation have the Ogou title, but this is not like in the Lukumi/Candomble traditions where Ogun is a Spirit in his own right, Ogou serves as a form of title for working with these powerful Spirits.

We are slowly creating pages for each of the Lwa, if you can click on the lwa’s name as a link it will take you to more information about these majestic spirits.