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Papa Legba

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Papa Legba
2000px-VeveLegba.svg
Veve of Papa Legba

Real Name

Papa Legba

First Appearance

Unknown

Created by

Haitian Folklore

Origin

In Haitian Vodou, Papa Legba is the loa (spirit) who serves as the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives (or denies) permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages. In Haiti, he is the great elocutioner. Legba facilitates communication, speech, and understanding.

Position

He is always the first and last spirit invoked in any ceremony, because his permission is needed for any communication between mortals and the loa—he opens and closes the doorway.

Appearance

He usually appears as an old man on a crutch or with a cane, wearing a broad brimmed straw hat and smoking a pipe, or sprinkling water. The dog is sacred to him. Legba is syncretized with Saint Peter, Saint Lazarus, and Saint Anthony.

Alternative views

In Benin and Togo, Legba is viewed as young and virile, is often horned and phallic, and his shrine is usually located at the gate of the village in the countryside.

Papalegba

The Benin and Togo appearance of Legba Atibon.

Alternatively, he is addressed as Legba Atibon, Atibon Legba, or Ati-Gbon Legba.

See Also

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