What is the Temple of Yehwe

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images/max01.jpgThe Temple of Yehwe is an offshoot of Le Péristyle de Mariani which was founded in 1974 in Mariani, Haiti by Max-G. Beauvoir. Both institutions have been dedicated to the understanding and to the promotion of Vodoun as the Religion and the Culture of the Haitian people.

Vodoun, is the popular system of belief and the religious practice of the overwhelming majority of the population of Haiti. Its moral precepts, generally admitted as unfailing, embrace all the many aspects of life. May them be in the political, the social or the economics' domains, may them be in the foreign affairs, or else, may them be in the public, domestic or individual fields of activity, the fundamental tendency is to consider all vital issues from a Vodoun standpoint.

Family's disagreements, discords between employer and employee, disputes concerning land ownership, differences of opinion and of point of views, problems created by birth, education, health, work, death...find their solutions in Vodoun, for that system of belief is the interpersonal as well as the collective conflicts mediator of the Haitian people.

For, implicitly enfolded in the entire Vodoun system, is a "Code of Ethics" which accurately fits the socio-cultural, historical, political and economic realities of the community and serves as an instrument of peace and harmony for everyone.

This gives all Haitians their psycho-social specificities. Practicing Vodoun, or not, all Haitians are Haitian. That is to say that all Haitians must accept the standards set by the community. That Religion, thus, constitutes a motivating factor which conditions the Haitian's views and attitudes towards the World. One's appreciation is consequently influenced by the many forms of activities and the fundamental aspects of that collective human experience.

This finds some of its explanations and justifications in the fact that Vodoun has its set of Norms and Values to which everyone, by devotion, conviction, attachment or by simple social conformism, automatically adheres to because the religion is lived by the majority. The teachings are revealed to very many Haitians and the precepts are instructive to all who naturally see the well founded grounds for them. This explains why Vodoun, whenever and wherever it is practiced, gathers the adhesion of the majority of the population.

The mode of transmission of Vodoun's precepts isn't limited to individual and group revelations. There are also, carried through the Tradition, a whole oral sapiential literature in the form of prayers, litanies, religious songs, mythological stories, charades, maxims, proverbs and even some secular and funny anecdotes about boys and girls that everyone repeats across the country. They too carry the norms of behavior as well as the philosophical reflections about GOD, the Great Master, or better yet, the Great Mistress Who govern the Universe; Nature, which is man's environment; and reflections concerning the human being.

In other words, the Theological, Cosmological and Anthropological conceptions are continuously expressed in appropriate terms and in simple language to everyone's cogitation. In the Vodoun sapiential literature, one always finds, implicitly or explicitly expressed, two main aspects:

  1. The first one which deals with the subjects of PRACTICAL AND MORAL PHILOSOPHIES and exposes the popular wisdom born from individual and collective experience. It can be defined as containing propositions which convey the precepts of conduct and of moral standards, objectively recognized as being valid. Those are willingly followed by everyone who would like to consider him/ or herself, and who also want to be recognized by others, as "REASONABLE" and as a "SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE" person.
  2. The other one which treats of problems concerning mainly Religious and Moral life. Presented as SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY, it deals with what is generally considered "The INACCESSIBLE" to the individuals or to the collectivity by means of experiences. It then concerns three main subjects:
  • The existence of God
  • The immortality of the Soul
  • The Human being seen as Soul in a perishable package. The Freedom of Will is an important aspect of those considerations.

Le Peristyle de Mariani

For about twenty years, Le Péristyle de Mariani held public ceremonies, services, initiations, counseling and the practice of Traditional Medicine in Haiti. A group of scholars pulled together their intellectual resources and insights. They founded a Cultural Center named Groupe d'Etudes et de Recherches Traditionelles (G.E.R.T) or Group for Studies and Research on the African Tradition. It quickly became a regular source of Information to the National and to the International communities, principally to the press and to the media.

Many movies have been recorded there. Numerous Conferences and countless of articles have been published by this Organization on African Traditional Religion in Haiti and in the New World. Max Beauvoir talked to a large number of campuses in Haiti and in the United States. He also participated in various countries at conferences of UNESCO on African Culture and Religion.

Unfortunately, since the death of the Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1806, two years after the independence of Haiti, Roman Catholic priests and Protestant pastors of the many Christian denominations have set up the social climate in which the Vodoun populations of that country had to live. Always powerfully seconded by the imperialist and the neo-colonialist Nations of the Western hemisphere and their financial institutions, explains more than sufficiently the reason why an atmosphere of intolerance, of absolutism and of despotism has permeated all the political structures resulting in the condition of endemic underdevelopment which characterizes Haiti to-day.

Periodically they have launched movements of "Deshoukaj" or of "social uprooting and cleansing", which were pogroms against a population greatly composed of Vodoun populations. They have thus perpetrated the most horrible acts of cruelty against the people. At the time of the last of such operation, in 1986, The "Groupe d'Études et de Recherches Traditionelles" created a special body known as The Bòde Nasyonal.

Bode Nasyonal

That name came from a Vodoun expression of African origin which means The National Congregation of Vodoun populations and Vodoun Defenders for the protection of the people, their culture and their art-of-living.

Having understood that the generic name for all the Lwa is Yehwe, the decision has been made to name the new Corporation: The Temple of Yehwe. The purposes for which it has been organized were many, mainly:

  • - to allow anyone the possibilities of finding another way of worshiping God, in the manner that it was established traditionally thousands of years ago by the African Ancestors;
  • - to unite publicly with the Temple in the belief in, and in the love of, the Divine Power of the Supreme Creator and Ruler of the Universe;
  • - to increase among its members the sentiments of devotion, fraternity and tolerance, by the practice of the religious observance of the Vodoun rites and rituals.

The Temple of Yehwe is a private Institution founded in Washington D.C., U.S.A. in 1996. It holds a Certificate of Incorporation dated March 5th, 1996. Its character, its purposes, its mode of operation and its source of support have been determined by the Department of the Treasury of the United States of America as exempt from Federal Income Tax under the section 501 © (3).

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© Max G. Beauvoir - 1998 -2005

all  reproduction is strictly forbidden without express authorization

Author : Max-G Beauvoir
[email protected]
Tel :  (509) 458 1500
Le Péristyle de Mariani, Mariani, Haiti

The Temple of Yehwe: President 
Nicole Miller, Tel : ( 516) 932-2331, [email protected]

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