Mamman Brigitte is a lwa that is European in origin, the wife of Baron Samedi, together they are the head of the Ghede family of vodou lwa! Brigitte comes from the Scottish and Irish sent to Ayiti who suffered through indentured servitude. Not as horrible and ultra violent as African slavery but a living hell all the same. Some contracted and signed themselves into slavery while others were forced into the situation. Many Celtic peoples were deported as slaves during the era of Oliver Cromwell back in the 1600’s, for example. Great articles discussing Indentured servants sent to the Caribbean: http://www.newworldcelts.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=25&Itemid=40 Article “The Redlegs of Barbados” By Edward T. Price: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/CARIBBEAN/2001-04/0986680712
Many paintings and art depict Brigitte and the Ghede lwa in skeletal form, I have painted her cameo profile as a beautiful flame-haired Celtic maiden in the flesh. Graves of the first female corpses buried in all cemeteries of Ayiti are blessed in the name of Mamman Brijit. A sacred cross is placed upon the tomb in each burial place consecrated in her name. Mamman Brigitte drinks the special zesty rum of the Ghede lwa called Piman and she dances the wild, erotic Banda. People who drink Piman and dare to fake their possessions during a fet will burn their mouth out! Piman is straight rum with hot peppers soaked into it, the preferred drink of the Ghede lwa. When the Ghede are in the body of a vodouisant during fet, drinking Piman is like drinking water, no pain, no 3rd degree burns in your mouth! Otherwise you might as well be eating a fresh Trinidad Scorpion Pepper, a chili famous for causing acute blindness if its gets near your eyes! Leave the Piman drinking to the dead! Brigitte is tough-talking and tells it like it is, the Ghede are not shy about revealing secrets or telling the truth around anyone. She can curse like any sailor or trucker, using whatever “obscenities” that she chooses to use. Beyond death, all pain and suffering, the Ghede lwa do not adhere to the social rules of society in this world and they are not affected by them. They are free from the social reprimand that acting and speaking “raunchy and rude” will get you in this world. The Ghede lwa are spirits of fertility, death, resurrection and healing among other powers they have. They will talk about sex, having it, doing it, and about sex organs openly and freely. Mamman Brigitte is syncretized with Saint Brigid, the Christian nun and pagan goddess Brigit who is associated with flames and fire. The candles in my oil painting represent the sacred eternal flames of Brigid’s Kildare sanctuary in Ireland. http://kildare.ie/local-history/kildare/saint-brigid.htm
November 2nd, Fet Ghede in Ayiti is Brigitte and her family’s sacred holiday. On this special day the dead and the living come together. In violet, black, and white sacred colours of the ghede lwa, people gather in the streets of Ayiti dancing and celebrating, possessed by the spirits. Sunglasses, top hats and the powdered faces of the skeletal dead can be seen everywhere! Some Vodouisants links discussing Fet Ghede and the Ghede lwa: http://www.rootswithoutend.org/racine125/vleson2a.html http://hermitsjourney.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/fet-gede-fun-and-surprises-on-all-saints-day-2/ http://www.ezilikonnen.com/society/fet-gede-2006.html
Brijit and her family are known to be playful. clownish, and rowdy but they are wise and can assist you with any problem you may have in your life. They have the best sense of humor in the world! Very funny with lots of dirty jokes and dark humor. Brijit and her husband are truly lwa of death, they can kill with their magic, bring illness and misfortune. But they can also heal, give life and resurrect. When you are at the end of your rope, something in your life is gone and it seems like it will never come back, Brijit and Baron will be the judge of that!