Western scholars not only rejected the religious life of African people, they also challenged the religious sensibility of the Haitian people and stereotypified their belief as "black magic," "sorcery," "fetish," and "cannibalism." Price-Mars has put forth the argument that the descendants of the Dahomeans in Haiti did not continue the animism, the ancestral faith, but created something new:
Price-Mars also observes that << C'est la concrdisation de sa foi en Celui en qu'il reconnait le dispensateur toutes choses et le maitre supreme du destin." (122) Price-Mars equates the religion of the (African) Spirits with Haitian Vodou, and explains further that religion is intrinsically linked to the social and political life of the Dahomean people.
Price-Mars invites his readers to reason with him in this manner that if the most original primitive African is naturally endowed with a religious status equally to that of other people, isn't it evident that African people of Saint-Domingue have not left their traces in the history of worship in the organized Islam, Dahomean or simply animism?
Enslaved Dahomeans brought Vodun to Brazil, Cuba, and Haiti by contributing to the birth of new religions such as Candomble, Santeria, and Voodoo in the Americas.
The colored bas-reliefs decorating the walls of the palaces constitute a visual narrative illustrating events that marked the history of the Dahomean dynasties.
The Dahomeans believed that the life force does not end with death.
The Dahomean religion has a major god with lesser deities.
If settlers enslaved Nigerians, Ghanaians, Dahomeans
, and Congolese in the 18th Century; if those black imperialists felt and still think they are more American than African, then the indigenous majority--like other African countries--should declare political and economic liberty from the clutches of Americo-Liberianism at once ...
The history of slave procurement by former Dahomeans is thereby 'expurgated' ...
The ceremony date corresponds with the "traditional calendrical date for Dahomean families to worship their ancestors at home" and was conceived of as a way to unite local Vodun groups from all over Benin "to worship the long departed slaves as objects of a transnational form of ancestor worship" (Sutherland 1999:202).
In Floodtide, for example, Ross Parry allows himself to become an unwilling partner in the crimes of Morgan Brittany; and in The Dahomean
, the protagonist's fate is to be sold into slavery, despite his authority and wealth.