The vévé of Erzulie

The vévé of Erzulie

In Voodoo (Voudoun or Vodun) practice, a veve or vévé is an intricate symbol of the Loa, and is used in invocation rituals.

Each Loa has his or her own complex vévé, which is traced on the ground with “ma-vévé” (or ma-veve) – finely powdered eggshell or material of a similar appearance, such as cornmeal prior to a ritual.

The ma-vévé represents a direct connection with the earth.

The ability to draw a vévé correctly is considered to be the basic skill required of an initiate or hounsis.

A vévé is believed to be more powerful if it is drawn with the correct details; the more attention that is paid to the finer details, the better its power to successfully invoke the Loa. Such a design represents a Loa to be invoked, and serves both as a focal point for invocation and a kind of altar for offerings. Several vévés of different Loa may be drawn for one ceremony.

The designs incorporate well-recognized traditional elements, but reflect also the individual intentions and creative skill of the Houngan or Mambo.

The vévé is similar in appearance and use to the Hindu Kolams, symbols drawn in rice flour for the Hindu deities.