Rada lwa

  (Redirected from Rada loa)

The Rada are a family of lwa spirits in the religion of Haitian Vodou. They are regarded as being sweet-tempered and "cool", in this contrasting with the Petro lwa, which are regarded as volatile and "hot".


The Rada lwa have been described as a "pantheon" of deities in Haitian Vodou.[1] The Rada lwa are deemed sweet-natured and dependable.[2] In this, they contrast with the Petwo lwa, whom are deemed volatile and hot-tempered.[3]

The Rada are referred to as lwa rasin, meaning "root lwa."[2] As they are often regarded as having an intimate relationship with their worshippers, they are often given names implying a family connection, such as Papa ("father") and Kouzen ("cousin").[4]

The Petwo lwa are kept separate from the Rada lwa, both spatially, by placing their altars in different parts of the ounfo (temple), and temporally, by invoking them at different stages in a ritual.[5]


The Rada pantheon have West African origins;[6] specifically, the pantheon of Rada lwa and their associated rituals derives from Arada in Dahomey.[7] "Rada" is a cognate of Allada.[8]


Ezili Freda is a Rada lwa.[9]

Some Rada loa are: Legba, Loco, Ayizan, Damballa, Ayida-Weddo, Freda, and Agwé.[citation needed]

Ogou is a lwa who does not fit neatly into either the Petwo or Rada nanchon. Although he carries weaponry, which is associated with the Petwo, he is seen as the defender of the Rada values.[3]



  1. ^ Brown 1991, p. 385.
  2. ^ a b Brown 1991, p. 100.
  3. ^ a b Brown 1991, p. 101.
  4. ^ Brown 1991, pp. 100–101.
  5. ^ Ramsey 2011, p. 8.
  6. ^ Ramsey 2011, p. 7.
  7. ^ Desmangles 1992, p. 36.
  8. ^ Deren, Maya, Divine Horsemen, McPherson & Company 2004, p. 60.
  9. ^ Brown 1991, p. 246.


  • Brown, Karen McCarthy (1991). Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22475-2.
  • Desmangles, Leslie (1992). The Faces of the Gods: Vodou and Roman Catholicism in Haiti. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0807843932.
  • Métraux, Alfred (1972) [1959]. Voodoo in Haiti. Translated by Hugo Charteris. New York: Schocken Books.
  • Ramsey, Kate (2011). The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-70379-4.

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