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

Penis Candles for the Vodou Gods Known as Gede

Catalog Number: A037/B242


Black: 8.00" x 1.76" x 1.77" 
203.2 mm x 44.70 mm x 44.96 mm

Red: 8.19" x 1.90" x 1.71" 
208.21 mm x 48.26 mm x 43.43 mm

Transatlantic Family of Religion: Vodun
Country of Origin: China
Ethnographic Origin: Haitian
Materials: wax
Date of Manufacture: 03/2014
Usage: Ritual (non-yet-used)
Detailed Description of Significance:

The Gede are spirits of Eros and Thanatos. Manbo Asogwe Marie Maude Evans, chief priestess of the Sosyete Nago congregation of Jacmel, Haiti, and Mattapan, Massachusetts, says that, from the moment of birth, a person is walking a path toward death. We fear death because we do not understand it. The Gede spirits come during their own annual festival–on or around the November 2nd Christian celebration of All Souls Day–in order to familiarize Vodou devotees with death. They do so with erotic jokes, prominently including puns, and playfully sexual gestures using the god’s ritual staff, or batôn. Some priests describe a small version of these staffs as a zozo, or “penis.” Vodouisants believe that not only that life leads to death but also that death leads to life, through re-birth, for example.

The emblematic color combination of the Gede spirits is purple and black. The alternation of white and black is another of their emblems.