Approach and be Known
If her sister is all sweetness and light, Dantor is the tough talking street fighter. But she is also a woman with infinite softness towards her children. A fretful mother, she worries for them. As you step onto Freda's cultivated fields, the sweet scent of the soil comes to you.
In the distance you hear her singing as she works. Chopping down brush to clear new fields, she sings. Her machete clears the old growth, making room for new possibilities. As she pauses, she turns to you. Although she frightens you at first with her scarred face, and tough manner, she smiles a welcome.
Thanks to Erzulie Dantor Veve for the veve.
Provided you will respect her for who she is, a hard-working woman, she will allow you to stay. Since you are here, it is only right and polite to work alongside her. A child runs out calling to you, then many more. Dantor watches you closely. These are her babies. You are being granted a rare privilege to meet them.
As always al images are credited and/or linked back to the source. If you own the copyright and want credit and a link or something removed, please let me know.
As a Mother
Dantor is a good mother, and her children, whether her own through met tete readings, or adopted have a fierce mother. Not a tigress in the modern sense of the word. She isn't a tiger mom by any means. But tigress in that she will lay down her life to protect those she loves.
She isn't evil and she isn't going to kill you for approaching her. But she is wary of people at first. After all, what do you want with a woman who runs a farm all by herself? She may have three husbands, but she does all the work. Everything, just think of it, and she raises children. Both hers and her sister's.
Now Freda brings the kids to her because she knows they will be safe. Big sis, as my Freda calls my Dantor always looked after her. Not that Freda leaves them there forever, mind you. She's a fantastic mom, despite what you've heard. She is just so dang busy helping other folks. Only Dantor can work from predawn to well past dusk and still mind children.
My Dantor firmly believes hard work never hurt a child, and that education is key. The kids can either learn farming or book learning, but they are going to learn a useful trade. Her children have no dowry except her love and lessons. They need to be able to provide for themselves and the community.
As Dantor puts it, even a homeless man can share his shelter with another. Dantor can be seen as a mother to the world, a lot like Kali. She loves everybody so long as they are honest and try hard. She doesn't care about your religion, skin color, or station in life.
She can teach women, and yes, you guys out there how to nurture children. How to be firm without abuse, how to comfort without coddling. At times she is fretful and despairs over providing for her children. Then you need to remind her that she is your mother too and whatever help she needs you will give. Most often it is just to talk to one of her adult children. That'd be you, honey.
Oh yes, before I forget. She loves children and will protect them. If you don't like Catholic imagery you can use anything that reminds you of her, and put it in the child's room. Just don't get too fancy. She's a hardworking lady, and anything that strikes her as too much richness will brings peals of laughter.
I couldn't find too many, but some music dedicated to her, and a lovely party in her honor.
Her colors vary according to the house. Some say black as they use a Madonna in black for her.But often, blue, gold, and red are used. My Dantor adores red, blue or any other color of ghingam. She also likes black and purple as well. I've seen her admire Freda's frothy pink from time to time.
Big secret, she loves girly stuff too. Not a lot, but some. So a bit of lace, a jeweled picture frame with her veve or picture in it, some nice prettys. She likes people to remember she is a woman too. Just not too rich or too much. She's sensitive about her poverty at times and too fine of things upset her. If buying a fragrance she loves earthy or musky scents. Not too expensive either.
She loves daggers, some say dolls, and useful gifts. Something to tie her hair back, a kerchief, anything she can use or wear in the fields, though actual farm implements may not go over well. My Ezili enjoys a tiny baby doll I got her, but I was very sure to tell her I want no babies of my own.
She can bless a woman with fertility and finds it hard to imagine any woman not wanting a child, or seven. She might bless men too, you'd have to ask. Now as to languages, mine speaks English just fine, but some say she only speaks broken Kreyol. Sometimes she doesn't speak at all and someone interprets for her.
This does not mean that she is stupid. She is a very wise woman. It may be that she needs time to judge you, and watching how you treat the one working for you in translation teaches her a lot about you. She also understands you, but likes to see if you will insult her in her own presence.
Ezili doesn't trust easily, and any outsiders who don't work hard might be out to take advantage of her. Remember in Haiti that is most likely true. At any time, even today farmers loose the land they work to a richer person's whim. So she has good reason to see if you aren't there to steal something.
Show her the respect and love she deserves, and you will be let closer in time. That's the thing here. Dantor wants enduring relationships, family and true friends. Not folks who ask for something, pay her then walk away.
Her altar should be simple. Perhaps a checked or plain blue or red cloth. Then a candle in blue or yellow, your small gift for her. That is about it. Start very small. She does not trust grand gestures. If you want food to offer, think of what your farming ansecstors ate. Some cooked corn, a plate of simply prepared meat. Sweet potatoes are her favorite, and since they are so danged large you can make several plates and offer Legba some too. Remember he opens the door for you. Not too fancy, OK?
I think she will take coffee, though most folks offer an alcohol of some kind. Most often a cheaper one as she likes a lot of it. She's not a drunkard, she just needs a good stiff jolt after all that hard work.
She is adaptable and will take anything offered with love. If you only have water on hand she will accept it. Some say she can be a bit wild, but mine is always reserved. She can get joyous and greet me warmly as a farm woman, but I'm honestly used to seeing her in black jeweled robes like Mary.
She of course hurried to assure me the jewels are not real and the form is one I can relate to. All I had in hand for her was a black Madonna picture, but she accepted it as Mary is holding baby Jesus. You can certainly substitute a mother Goddess or mother and child portrait if you wish. She is linked to Mary because both had children, and both know sorrow.
I've never heard of Dantor losing a child, but we all know that millions of women did just that in slavery. Whether sold off, worked to death, beaten to death, or raped, too many women saw the children they loved killed. You think millions is a figmet of my imagination? Slavery went on for well over 400 years. We will never know the exact numbers, as slaves were treated as property. Those that died en route or in the holding pens in Africa never got counted. Dantor remembers the horror and pain of every one of those women all too well.
Fight for women's rights if you have any sympathy for them or her. Oh, my Dantor is very well-mannered and articulate. Her children are that way too. She knows the value of education. For over four hundred years it had to be given in secret, but it was given. Even slavery can't destroy the human spirit.
Earn Her Love
You may honestly have her approach you to teach her children something. Yes it can be hard to think of something right on the spot, but try. I recall not doing too good a job of it, I think it was a simple magical spell, but the gesture was appreciated. Not only do you show her you will help, you also show her she and her children are your equals, and have a right to share with you.
Sit down and play with or eat with her children and she will marvel. Dantor knows all people are created equal, but she also knows not too many fine people (anyone outside her small farming family) don't sit in the dirt with poor folks. If you garden share your harvest with her. She will be candid about the quality of your produce, but she will love getting food, seeds, or sharing knowledge with you.
Dantor loves to teach, you know. So if you ask nicely she can help you learn to evaluate soil without those fancy kits. She can speak to the plants themselves, to the devas. She listens to what they need. And it is never chemical fertilizer if you expect her help. As my Dantor puts it, carrots are not meant to be the size of a loaf of bread.
If you are lucky enough to have farming blood, even generations ago, she can help you use it. You may not become the perfect provider she is, but a garden blessed by your hard work and her blessings will produce enough to share. Remember to always share. If you can't find a homeless shelter or food bank who accepts it, thy sharing with family and friends.
Feeding people is important in African culture, a lesson that passed on to Haiti, and the Americas. Yes our ancestors knew it too. At one time you fed strangers. I'm not saying you open your door to every stranger you meet, of course not. But be willing to share, OK?
Sometimes she may ask you for something, or to do a task before she will help you. Just do it. In her own sweet time Dantor will tell you why. She's learned the hard way that people will often prove to be a bad investment.
Some folks think she is dumb and won't recall the amount of money or other payment they promised. Or they think a simple farming woman can't leave the farm to collect. Ha! Worst and most offensive of all, some folks feel they can use her since she is only a farmer.
You wouldn't eat a single thing ever if it wasn't for farmers, and don't you forget it. They should be celebrated, admired, and looked up to in our culture. It takes heart and dedication to make a farm work. Mother nature is not always kind and nobody wants to lend when the crops may fail.
You remember that they next time you cry about vegetable, milk, or other food prices going up. That poor farmer isn't making a fortune despite what you think. All the seeds, equipment, labor, and everything else had to be paid for.
Add in kids, giving back to the community, and the ravages of nature, and most farmers owe more than a farm is worth at some point in their careers. Dantor insists you know and think on this. She loves them and will certainly extend them patronage if asked.
Dantor and Ogun Badagris
Back in Africa Ogun Balendjo and Ogu Badagris were Ogu's eldest sons. There were sent to help MaÃ®tresse Erzulie in a war. She was pleased to see they were twins, like her daughters. Ogu Balendjo was as velvety black as the night sky and rode a snowy white horse, where his brother, Ogun Badagris was a lovely mixed shade and he rode a coal black steed.
Both brothers were extremely handsome, muscular, and skilled warriors. Though the eldest twin, Balendjo was a more ferocious fighter. To make a long story short, Ezili Dantor wanted Balendjo as they were both dark. So her mother matched the daughters to the men they matched in skin color, which was a disaster. Balendjo was in love with the lighter Freda, while Badagris was in love with the darker Dantor.
Balendjo, despite his love for his brother and being promised Dantor, wooed Freda into running away with him. Although Dantor didn't love him, she still managed to stab her sister in the heart, while Freda gave her some lovely facial wounds, after pulling the knife out.
Another Ogu, a master herbalist was called in and healed her heart, and Balendjo eloped with her. Although Dantor was enraged, when Badagris confessed his great love for her she realized she had been given to the wrong brother. Meanwhile Balendjo proved to be quite to proverbial sailor, with a lady in every port. Freda puts up with it because he always returns and as a male lwa he must fertilize human females. She does a fine job herself of marrying every human male she falls in love with, as it is her role as a female lwa to love and inspire men, but they love one another deeply.
Dantor grew to love Badagris in time, and as she is as wise and loving as any woman, she even watches Freda's many children. Happily the whole family gets along, though some feel the sisters hate each other or are jealous.
My girls demanded to be placed in full view of one another, since they love each other deeply. That whole fight over Balendjo was just a sister thing and they are well pleased with the spouses they have.
You just have to understand that Dantor is very possessive and that is why the whole fight started. Even though she didn't love Balendjo, he belonged to her after her mom's promise, and girls will fight.
- Mambo Ezili Danto (aka Erzulie Dantor)
Page on Dantor
- SANSE! SANTERISMO! PUERTO RICAN BRUJERIA & ESPIRITISMO!: badagris
Showing posts with label badagris. Show all posts Showing posts with label badagris. Show all posts Monday, May 21, 2012Erzulie Freda & Erzulie Dantor Erzulie Freda & Erzulie Dantor A long time ago in Africa there once lived a beautiful