|The sum of those rules
finds its roots from a defined vision of the Universe in which the Earth is considered a
sacred place and Humanity, a truly deserving Creation of God. The human being is never
perceived as having forfeited any original rights because of mistakes committed by
inconsequent ancestors. All human beings are understood to be the beloved children of God,
presumably for the reason of having been created by Her or for having some aspect of Her
in one’s nature. This is the pure African vision that grants to everyone, at birth,
an intrinsic value worthy of dignity and respect.
||The name of this God in Vodun is
YEHWE, a generic term that embraces all the "Houn", meaning the many aspects of
that "Great Spirit of God Almighty", honored, revered and served as Lwa, Mo,
Zany and Mistè in this Religion, or "Orisha"/"Olisha"
in Yoruba tradition.
|Consequently, an integral part of
African teaching and Vodun aesthetics, are, alongside the physical human figure’s
quality of beauty, one’s moral behavior, one’s basic character and qualities, as
well as one’s sense of value, ideals and feelings. Failure to greet someone in the
street is often considered a letdown, a failure to recognize that person’s humanity.
|So, in communities of African
heritage, the social act of greeting becomes not only a social fact, but also a moral
obligation. To befriend someone means that one appreciates that person’s character
and values, and that one demonstrates such an appreciation by showing respect, loyalty,
hospitality, generosity, compassion… and even love. In the word love are normally
included all those manners considered proper and usually defined as virtues.