Saturday, April 23, 2011

Samedi: Paket Kongo

What might look like an onion shaped piece of silk or satin tied up with ribbon and sporting a crown of feathers or an almost awkward set of arms is, in fact, a bundle of magick.  This is the Voudon paket kongo used for healing and protection.

The paket, which is a Haitian Creole word, is made by an houngan or mambo in a specialized ceremony performed during one of the three days of the full moon.  The paket is dedicated to a lwa or djab with close connections to the person for whom it is intended.  Alternately, but also rarely, the paket is dedicated to a lwa the person would like to become more familiar with.  The size, color and confirmation of the paket depend on the lwa being served.  A red silk paket with peacock feathers protruding directly from its base may be dedicated to Ogou Ferraille while a pink satin paket studded with sequins and with a number of sensuously curving “arms” holding duck down may be for Erzulie Freda.  These “arms”, which often appear in odd numbers, are reserved for “female” pakets.

Inside the cloth are specific ingredients that will draw the help of the spirit in question.  Usually ashes from an animal sacrifice are included; perhaps those of a black pig for Erzulie Danto, for instance.  Herbs are added, most commonly known by their Haitian names as bwa-din, twa-pawol and zo-devan.  The lwa Simbi, controller of all magickal working, is called upon as the paket is tied up with appropriately colored ribbon which must be knotted seven times.

Once made and consecrated, the paket kongo is kept on an altar either in the home or in the Voudon temple.  The paket may be passed over the body of a sick person to effect healing, or used in other ceremonial ritual or even surprisingly mundane practices to draw the help and support of the spirit it serves.  Regardless of its intended use, the paket kongo has a life span of seven years.  After that, its power is gone and the ritual must be repeated to make a new paket all together.

Header: Paket Kongo to Erzulie Freda via Haitianna


Timmy! said...

Sounds pretty powerful... and not to be confused with a mojo bag, I guess.

Pauline said...

Not at all and good point. I can make a mojo bag, but I'd be a fool to try and make a paket kongo.