WILLOWS: THE CREOLE: LANGUAGE

briquettes entre poteaux Bricks between posts. A type of construction used for homes in the south.
consort au soleil Consort to the Sun
Creole White people born in the New World (Louisiana); sometimes also free people of color born in the New World (Louisiana).
de la main gauche (left-handed marriage) Common-law marriages between French, Spanish, and Creole men to African, India, and Creole women.
Erzulie Freda The Rada.
gens de coulee Free people of color.
Gran Zombi The great creator spirit of the universe represented by a snake during voodoo rituals.
grand deuil Black or dark clothing, black hat with, black veil, black crepe ribbon around her hat or for him, black band around the arm or hat.
gris-gris Gris-gris is a voodoo amulet originating in Africa believed to protect the wearer from evil or brings luck; in some West African countries used as a method of birth control; consists of a small cloth bag, usually inscribed with verses from the Qur’an and containing a ritual number of small objects, worn on the person.
L’wha Spirits of Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo; also referred to as Mystères and the Invisibles and are intermediaries between Bondye (French: Bon Dieu, meaning good God)—the Supreme Creator, who is distant from the world—and humanity.
La Sirene L’wha of true love.
ouanga Charm used to poison an enemy; contains the toxic roots of the figuier maudit tree from Africa. Ground up root can be combined with other elements, such as bones, nails, roots, holy water, holy candles, holy incense, holy bread, or crucifixes.
pigeonnier A compartmental structure, often raised on a pole, for housing domesticated pigeons.
plaçage From the French word placer meaning to place with. Women who were not legally recognized as wives but rather as placées; their relationships with white men were recognized among the free people of color as mariages de la main gauche or left-handed marriages.
placées African, Indian, and Creole common-law wives of French, Spanish, and Creole men.
tante Unmarried Creole woman.
ti bon ange In voodoo beliefs, the soul is made of two parts, the gros bon ange and the ti bon ange.

The gros bon ange, or the big guardian angel, is the life force shared by all humans. It enters the body at birth and leaves at death when it floats back to the Gran Met, or pool of life force. The ti bon ange, or little guardian angel is the part of the soul that contains the individual qualities of a person.

The ti bon ange is a large part of voodoo beliefs and rituals. It leaves the body during sleep so that the person experiences dreams, and also leaves the body during rituals for spirit possessions.

During a ritual spirit possession, a L’wha takes possession of a hounsis, which can be thought of as an assistant priest. In this time the hounsis’ ti bon ange floats free, and if unprotected could be harmed or stolen.

vingt-et-un Black Jack or Twenty One.
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