Image: My 1st impressions
However, the faith faced particular challenges in Haiti: cultural pressures meant that followers of voodoo often couldn’t appear openly devout. As a result, devotees resorted to “syncretic” means of worship to somewhat camouflage their practices – notably, by masquerading their religion’s spirits, or “iwa,” as Catholic saints.
Image: Guy Colborne
In fact, in Haiti voodoo was so frowned upon that it was outlawed until as recently as 1987 – and devotees had to wait a further 16 years until it became legally recognized as a religion equal to Catholicism. Meanwhile, the fact that Catholic iconography is incorporated in Haitian voodoo has proven to be one of the biggest differences between the form of the religion practiced in that country and the African version of the faith.