Declaration

Thirteen Haitian scholars met in April 1997, at UCSB for a colloquium on Haitian Vodou, The Spirit and The Reality: Vodou and Haiti.  At the end of the conference, these scholars decided to institutionalize their efforts through a new association under the name, the Congress of Santa Barbara.

We consider a major achievement the fact that a new Scholarly Organization, The Congress of Santa Barbara, was created as a result of our work here at the Center under previous Director Dr. Claudine Michel. The group who met in April 1997 in Santa Barbara pledged to institutionalize their efforts to further research the religion of Haiti and to disseminate their research findings.  The secretarial site for the Congress of Santa Barbara is the Center for Black Studies at UCSB.

The Association already has over 60 members and, after the Santa Barbara and New York Conferences, we are now planning for a third meeting in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  A second volume will be published to disseminate our research findings.

Imbued by a sense of collective wisdom and aware of the long, difficult and constant struggles and crises undergone by their homeland, the Founders – and others who have joined them – pledged to create a space where scholarship on Vodou can be augmented.  Cognizant of the meaning and the implications of this historic reunion where Haitian scholars seized the initiative, the congress proposes to have an impact on Haitian cultural politics as well as on resulting measures and policies that affect the Republic of Haiti.

The presence, role, and importance of Vodou in Haitian history, society, and culture are unarguable, and recognizably a part of the national ethos.  The impact of the religion qua spiritual and intellectual disciplines on popular national institutions, human and gender relations, the family, that plastic arts, philosophy and ethics, oral and written literature, language, popular and sacred music, science and technology and the healing arts, is indisputable.  It is the belief of the Congress that Vodou plays, and shall continue to play, a major role in the grand scheme of Haitian development and in the socio-economic, political, and cultural arenas.  Development, when real and successful, always comes from the modernization of ancestral traditions, anchored in the rich cultural expressions of a people.

The Congress of Santa Barbara invites other Haitian scholars and non-Haitians who subscribe to its goals and objectives to join it in the defense and illustration of this poto-mitan on the Haitian cultural heritage that is such an integral part of the nation’s future."  

The work of the Congress of the Santa Barbara is part of the larger Indigenous Religion Project at the Center. The Center also publishes The Journal of Haitian Studies, the official publication of the Haitian Studies Association.

 

KOSANBA Declaration

Kongrè Santa Barbara
DEKLARASYÒN

Soti 25 pou rive Avril 1997, 13 nèg ak nègès konesè Ayisyen te rankontre nan Inivèsite Kalifòni ki tabli nan Santa Barbara, pou yo fè yon wonble sou Vodou. Alafen wonble a, Nèg ak nègès konesè sa yo te pran desizyon kreye yon organizasyon yo batize: Kongrè Santa Barbara.

Fondatè Kongrè Santa Barbara a pran angajman pou yo kreye yon espas—ensanm ak lòt moun ki vle pote kole ak yo—yon espas kote nèg ak nègès plim e ank kapab pi profonde nan konesans Vodou a. Yo pran angajman sa a paske yo gen yon kouran lasajès ki envayi lespri yo, epi tou paske yo pran konsyans yon seri tray ak tribilasyon Ayiti ap pase, yon seri batay difisil Ayiti ap mennen chak jou pou yon demen miyò, epi tou yon seri hing hang chen manje chen ki anpeche peyi nou fè yon pa ann avan.

Fondatè Kongrè Santa Barbara a pwopoze pou manm li yo ekzèse yon enfliyans sou jan politik kiltirèl peyi Dayiti ap mache, sou jan gouvènman an ap mennen bak li nan domèn sa a, epi sou tout lòt desizyon ki ka afekte lavni politik kiltirèl Repiblik Dayiti. Se paske manm fondatè yo konnen fen e byen enplikasyon wonble istorik sa a ki fè yo pwopoze sa yo pwopoze a.

Pèsonn pa kapab nye prezans, ròl ak enpòtans Vodou nan listwa, nan sosyete epi kilti Ayiti. Dayè, pèsonn pa kapab pa rekonèt Vodou a se yon pati enpòtan ki fè Ayiti Ayiti tout bon. Pèsonn pa kapab di Vodou a pa gen enpak sou konpòtman Ayisyen, kit se kòm relijyon, kit se kòm disiplin entelektyèl. Vodou a make enstitisyion popilè nou yo, relasyon moun ak moun, pawol gason ak famn pou kò yo, relasyon andedan yon fanmi, relasyon andedan kòporasyon atis nou yo. Li make filozofi epi prensip moral nou, literati ekri ak literati oral nou, mizik sèvis ansanm ak mizik banbòch nou yo, lizay nou, lasyans ak teknoloji nou, epi sitou ladrès nou nan tretman maladi.

Moun ki deyè Kongrè si la gen konviksyon Vodou a deja jwe epi gen poul jwe yon gran ròl nan gran plan devlopman Ayiti nan domèn sosyal, ekonomik, politik epi kiltirèl. Kote devlopman fèt tout bon, kote li reyisi, se toujou kote modènizasyon an makonne ak tradisyon ansèt yon pèp te mouri kite, yon tradisyon ki enrasinen nan eksperyans kiltirèl pèp la.

Moun ki deyè Kongrè Santa Barbara a envite lòt Ayiseyn ki gen konesans ansanm ak moun ki pa Ayisyen natif natal, men ki gen konesans tou ou byen lòt moun ki ap chèche konnen, yo envite tout moun sa yo, depi yo aksepte bi ak objektif kongrè a, pou yo vini pote kole ak moun ki deyè organizasyon nan batay yap mennen pou defann epi ilistre poto mitan eritaj kiltirèl ki garanti lavni nasyon Dayiti.

Congrès de Santa Barbara
DECLARATION

Au mois dʼavril 1997, un colloque sur le Vodou sʼest tenu à lʼuniversité de Californie, Santa Barbara. A ce colloque ont participé treize chercheurs et universitaires haïtiens qui, à lʼissue de cette rencontre, ont décidé de poursuivre collectivement lʼeffort accompli et de l'institutionnaliser sous le nom de Congrès de Santa Barbara.

Tenant compte du parcours difficile et des longues crises qui ont marqué lʼhistoire de leur pays, et imbus de la sagesse collective émanant de leur culture, les fondateurs du Congrès de Santa Barbara, et avec eux tous ceux qui plus tard les rejoindront dans leur cause, ont résolu de créer un espace de recherche en vue de multiplier et de développer les études sur le Vodou.

Tout en reconnaissant la signification et la portée historique de ce colloque au cour duquel des chercheurs haïtiens ont, de par eux-mêmes, décidés de se constituer en organisation, le Congrès de Santa Barbara se propose, à travers ses activités, dʼavoir un impact sur la politique culturelle haïtienne ainsi que sur les mesures et les décisions prises dans ce domaine.

Le rôle du Vodou dans lʼévolution de lʼhistoire, de la société et de la culture haïtienne est indéniable et de nos jours, cette expression profonde de la religiosité haïtienne est considérée comme faisant partie intrinsèque de la conscience collective du peuple haïtien. Dans cette même ligne dʼidée, nous devons aussi souligner lʼinfluence spirituelle et intellectuelle du Vodou dans des domaines aussi variés que les institutions populaires nationales, la famille, les relations humaines en général, y compris lʼapport féminin, la philosophie, les arts plastiques, le créole, la littérature orale et écrite, la science et la médecine traditionnelle, pour ne citer que ceux-là. Aussi les membres fondateurs du Congrès de Santa Barbara croient fermement que le Vodou joue et jouera un rôle déterminant dans le grand schéma de développement de la République dʼHaïti dans les domaines socio-économiques, politiques et culturels. Car le développement pour être vrai et durable doit toujours provenir de la modernisation des traditions ancestrales et sʼenraciner dans la culture populaire.

Les membres fondateurs du Congrès de Santa Barbara étendent une chaleureuse invitation aux chercheurs et universitaires haïtien et étrangers qui voudraient se joindre à eux dans leur défense et illustration du Vodou, ce poteaumitan de lʼhéritage culturel haïtiens, destiné sûrement a jouer un rôle prépondérant dans le développement futur de la nation haïtienne.

Congress of Santa Barbara
DECLARATION

Thirteen Haitian Scholars met in April 1997, at the University of California, Santa Barbara for a colloquium on Haitian Vodou, The Spirit and The Reality: Vodou and Haiti. At the end of the conference, these scholars decided to institutionalize their efforts through a new association under the name, the Congress of Santa Barbara.

Imbued by a sense of collective wisdom and aware of the long, difficult and constant struggles and crises undergone by their homeland, the Founders—and others who might join them—pledged to create a space where scholarship on Vodou can be augmented. Cognizant of the meaning and the implications of this historic reunion where Haitian scholars seized the initiative, the Congress proposes to have an impact on Haitian cultural politics as well as on other measures and policies that affect the Republic of Haiti.

The presence, role and importance of Vodou in Haitian history, society and culture are inarguable, and recognizably a part of the national ethos. The impact of the religion qua spiritual and intellectual disciplines on popular national institutions, human and gender relations, the family, the plastic arts, philosophy and ethics, oral and written literature, language, sacred and popular music, science and technology, and the healing arts, is indisputable. It is the belief of the Congress that Vodou plays and shall continue to play a major role in the grand scheme of Haitian development and in the socio-economic, political, and cultural arenas. Development, when real and successful, always comes from the modernization of ancestral traditions, anchored in the rich cultural expressions of a nation.

The Founders of the Congress of Santa Barbara invite all scholars and interested parties who subscribe to its goals and objectives, to join it in the defense and illustration of this potomitan of the Haitian cultural heritage that is such an integral part of the country's future.

 

KOSANBA LINKS

Journal of Haitian Studies

Haitian Studies Association

Additional Links

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at UCSB

Journal of Haitian Studies

Descent of the Lwa

Center for Black Studies

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