Haitian Vodou with Mike Clark

This program was organized by David Hayen, Member #1203.



Deciding to go to Haiti really depends on what you are looking for. If it is Vodou you’re after, you can find it anywhere on the island but ceremonies can be sporadic- you might get lucky and find one, but having a good fixer who knows the island and who to call is the way to go. Haiti is unpredictable and the situation can change rapidly, so there’s never a dull moment in country. Hopping from one temple to the next is one of the best ways to see multiple ceremonies which can go on for hours and days.

There are two types of Vodou- Rada and Petro. Although both use good and evil energy, Petro is darker. Different Loa (spirits) are found at each peristyle (temple). Each unique peristyle determines which spirits possess the participants, the type of ritual, and the requisite sacrifice. Most peristyles will welcome you- if you bring rum and cigarette for the Houngan (male priest) or Mambo (female).

Mike Clark, Member #1171, is a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor, a former paramedic, motorcycle and diving guide and businessman. He graduated from the University of Colorado, with a degree in Anthropology, focusing on tribal cultures and religion.  Mike has traveled to over 130 countries and all 7 continents.  His travels include photographing and documenting Vodou in Haiti, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.  He has spent time amongst the Mursi and Surma of Ethiopia, the Tuareg of Niger, the Tsaatan of Mongolia, the Baka Pygmys of Cameroon, and the Yanomami in Brazil.  He has motorcycled on 6 continents and dove all 7.

Mike is currently working on a guide book for working with fixers in hostile areas with a focus on Mexico and Central America.