Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Asson #1

Catalog Number: A004

Religion and Denomination: Petwo (Haiti)
Transatlantic Family of Religion: Vodun
Country of Origin: Haiti
Ethnographic Origin: Caribbean
Materials: Metal
Date of Manufacture: 07/2009
Usage: Ritual (used)
Detailed Description of Significance:

Ason come in a variety of colors. Ones made with a single color are used for the worship of a single lwa. Other ason, like this one, are strung with multiple color combinations, each corresponding to one lwa, so they may be used in the worship of any lwa.  The chacha rattle is used specifically to salute the lwa of the fiery Petwo nation.  An ason is given to a priest when she or he has completed an initiation. It is expected that she or he will use this ason for the rest of her or his life. She may make others and use them, but they will never be as special as her first  By invoking the gods, the various color-coded sections of any given priest’s ason reveal that priest’s spiritual ensemble of divine protectors, advocates and masters.  Such information is dangerous in the hands of one’s enemies. Therefore, the color iconography of an ason is often deliberately muddled.  

In general, the white beads invoke the snake god Dambala, the deep blue beads invoke the fiery mother goddess Ezili Dantò, the yellow beads invoke Azaka Mede, also known as Kouzèn, and another lwa; the combination of black and red invokes the Petwo nation’s lord of the crossroads, Kafou; the combination of blue and red invokes the god of war and revolution Ogou; the pink beads invoke the coquettish Rada goddess Ezili Freda.