Who Do? You Do

Join in this Haitian religious celebration

SAT 7/16Vodou, Santería, Camdoble, Obeah. To the uninitiated, those words conjure images of black candles burning in a dark room, bloody chicken feathers, and frightening dolls purposefully pierced with pins. But in their countries of origin, these traditional beliefs all harken back to a bitter history, when African slaves were denied their own religion and language, and instead were handed Bibles and told to conform to the rules of a new society. The slaves found courage and identity in the hybrid rhythms, dances, art, and spiritual rites that seemed dangerous to the plantocracy. To people from the nations of Brazil, Trinidad, Cuba, and Haiti, these African-influenced customs remain as strong as ever.

Vodou Fest aims to clarify some of the mystery surrounding the so-called "dark arts" and to celebrate the spiritual and philosophical aspects of these misunderstood religions. Visitors can explore an art exhibition, watch traditional rituals performed in a public forum for the first time, and enjoy vodou-inspired roots music today, beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Tina Hill Pavilion in Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 954-438-7772, or e-mail vodoufest@yahoo.com. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell YursikPerusing Peru

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Mike Gorman

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