Photos from Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale’s 2014 Fet Kouzen celebrations.
Papa Legba's veve drawn at the entrance.
A veve for Milocan, all the spirits, calls the lwa to attend the ceremony.
The Poto Mitan, the central pole, hung with asson and Kouzen's djakout (woven satchel).
Guest Jaden in front of Erzulie Dantor's flag.
The table is surrounded by frouits and vegetables, in front of which Kouzen's veve has been drawn.
The table set up for the fet, with lots of food and Kouzen's accoutrements.
A smaller table holds flowers and a cake.
All the candles and bottles for the spirits are kept here for the ceremony, along with items belonging to Kouzen.
The large and small tables, with Milocan veve visible on the right and Haitian flag on the left.
Another view of the main table.
Kouzen loves his food. Because he is a peasant farmer, he is offered plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, along with hearty Haitian staples to sustain him through his hard work. A large container of Haitian style beans and rice has been placed at the left.
Kouzen also likes sweets, and plenty of them! A large bowl of boiled sweets has been added to his pile of vegetables and fruit. A New Zealand classic, fried bread, has also been added to the offerings.
The entire table has been surrounded by food offerings. At the front, Kouzen's trademark hat and djakout flank a veve created from iron: a unique form of Haitian art.
The main table has been added to on the right hand side, where a smaller table holds Kouzen's cake. To the left, his djakout has been hung next to a Haitian flag.
From this angle, you can see the Haitian foods placed on the table. A bowl of Labouyi, a plantain dessert, sits next to a lamp burning in a three legged pot.
This view shows a bowl of Haitian rice pudding, placed next to a lamp burning in a white enamel bowl.
Kouzen's hat sits atop his djakout, which has been decorated with colourful bandannas. The djakout holds Kouzen's posessions, which he will add to during the course of the fet.
All the vegetables were purchased from a local grocery, putting money back into the community.
A sequinned drapo (Haitian sequinned flag) takes pride of place on the wall behind the table.
Special guest Emily wanted to dress just like the grown-ups for the fet: head wrap and all.
Guests Kiri and Gabrielle dressed for the Fet
Emily sits in front of the Poto Mitan. The pe (base) has been decorated with images of the lwa, and the one showing Kouzen is visible behind Emily.
The first spirit to come down at the ceremony is Papa Legba. Houngna Liam performs the salute, with Il Faut Que Sa assisting.
When Papa Legba comes down in possession on Houngan Liam, he is given a chair to sit on. Mache Cherche greets him and gives Legba his bottle.
When the formal greeting is complete, Legba hugs Mache Cherche.
Papa Legba greets Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale's newest member, Adieuci.
As an old man and grandfather, Papa Legba loves children. Once he had greeted all the members of the house, he was eager to pick up Emily.
Guest Kiri is next to greet Legba
Legba finishes greeting Kiri with a hug.
Guest Toni also receives a hug from Legba.
Guest Jaden clasps hands in greeting with Legba.
Again, Legba finishes greeting with a hug.
Jaden is pleased to be remembered by Papa Legba, whom he had previously met at Cauldrons PaganFest 2014.
Guest Gabrielle clasps hands with Papa Legba.
Gabrielle also receives a hug.
Guest Jacquie whirls in her salute, while Legba starts to feel the New Zealand cold.
Jacquie receives her hug.
Legba also decides to bless Jacquie.
Emily proves she has taken to Vodou by shaking a tcha-tcha as the family and guests sing.
She is very much at home with a tcha-tcha in her hand.
As part of their salute to Papa Loko, the first houngan, Houngan Liam and Houngan Alistair tawk asson together.
They use the language of the asson to communicate.
Houngan Alistair prepares for the final salute.
To complete the salute, the houngans prepare to turn together.
They turn with each other, using the asson to sound their movements.
The salute comes to an end with a final turn.
The lwa Filomez came down in possession, and here greets Il Faut Que Sa.
Gabrielle carries a flower given to her by Filomez, while Kiri waits her turn to greet the lwa and Emily takes a nap.
Despite carrying Emily, Kiri is still ready to greet Filomez.
Filomez walks closely with Gabrielle, and asked for Gabrielle to sit next to her. Filomez was more than happy to pose for a picture.
Filomez sat with Gabrielle for the remainder of her visit, and enjoyed her champagne very much.
Ogou Feray and Jacquie hug in greeting.
Gabrielle performs the salute to greet Feray, while he proclaims his happiness to see so many new faces at the Hounfo.
Gabreielle completes her salute by turning under Feray's machete.
Salutes over, Feray hugs Gabrielle using his machete.
Feray offers Gabrielle a drink from his bottle.
While Emily naps, Kiri salutes Feray.
Kiri prepares to turn under Feray's machete.
Feray is quite fond of Gabrielle, and spends a great deal of time with her.
Feray enjoyed Gabrielle's company.
Feray has a unique sense of humour, and managed to make Gabrielle laugh.
Feray has some words for Jaden.
Old friends Toni and Feray are happy to see each other again.
Gabrielle has pain in her lower back and hip, which Feray heals for her. He begins by creating a fire of Florida Water and rum.
Using his machete, Feray gets the fire good and hot.
Next, Feray soaks a railroad spike in rum from his bottle.
The railroad spike is set on fire, acquiring the heat and power of Feray.
Feray watches as the spike sits in the flame. The spike is given to Gabrielle to take home and complete her healing.
A Ghede slipped in after Ogou Feray left. He drags Il Faut Que Sa around the room for fun.
Ghede entertains the guests by dancing with his walking stick.
Ghede continues to dance energetically to the accompaniment of his songs.
Erzulie Dantor was the next spirit to come down in possession. As a mother, she loves children and very quickly picked up Emily for a cuddle.
Kiri salutes Dantor, who tests her.
Kiri is rewarded with a warm hug from Dantor.
Kiri impresses Dantor with her strength.
Dantor claims Kiri as her child.
Kiri is pleased, and Dantor is happy: these two have a strong connection to one another.