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

Haitian Vodou Good Luck Bath featuring Image of Èzili Freda

Catalog Number: A024


2.36" x 2.36" x 5.46"


60.04 mm x 60.04 mm x 138.71 mm

Religion and Denomination: Rada (Haiti)
Transatlantic Family of Religion: Vodun
Country of Origin: Haiti
Ethnographic Origin: Haitian
Materials: Glass
Date of Manufacture: 03/2014
Usage: Ritual (non-yet-used)
Detailed Description of Significance:

Ezili Fréda and Ezili Dantò are sisters and adversaries. Ezili Dantò has darker skin and is associated with motherhood.  She has children but has lost the interest of her husband. Ezili Freda is the lighter-skinned sister. She is flirtatious and childless. Freda stole Dantò’s husband, and Dantò stabbed her through the heart. The relationship between these sisters reveals the role that skin color plays in many African-diaspora societies, including Haiti. In the popular conception of race, light-skinned women are seen as more attractive, and dark skinned women are thought to resent them for it. It is believed that, if sisters in a family have different skin tones, the lighter-skinned sister will be treated better. The story of Freda and Dantò holds these racist social patterns up for dramatization and reflection.

Freda is known for her love of jewelry, and her connection to love. The objects that surround her in this lithograph are jewelry. Many of these jewelry pieces are heart-shaped, illustrating her connection to love. The dagger through her heart reminds the viewer of the rivalry between the sisters, but also of the general theme of betrayal. It serves to remind the practicioner that there is no love without suffering.