Some info on the lwa Bossou

One of my readers recently asked me to post something about the lwa Bossou. The reason you do not read much about him or some of the other lwa here is because I tend to write mostly from personal experience. My experience with Bossou is limited to the second-person variety, as he does not walk with me.

I have seen him possess the local Mambo, however, and when he does, her face becomes fierce and she will snarl and charge into people. On that note, rather than rewrite what others have written, below are some excerpts and a link to info about Bossou:

From Répertoire Pratique des Loa du Vodou Haïtien by Déïta:

Loa of the Rite Petro, he is called Maitre Brise. Healer and exorcist…Representation of the materialist forces, he helps the mambo or bocor to remove the spirits of the dead who have attached themselves to someone.

SYMBOL: The skull of the bull with its horns.

COLORS – CLOTHING: Red and yellow.

OFFERINGS: The flesh of the sacrificed bull and boiled roots vegetable.

DRINKS: Rum and “clarin” (Sugar cane Fire Water.)

CATHOLIC CORRESPONDENT: Saint Sebastian.

From The Hatian Vodou Handbook by Kenaz Filan:

Although his origins are clearly Dahomean, he is served in both the Petwo and Rada rites…Those who classify Bossou as Petwo may do so because of the violence of his possessions. Those who are ridden by Bossou will frequently be tossed about like they are getting gored by a mad ox. Others will ram their heads into the Poteau-mitan or any other hard object…

Bossou’s bottle is red and has two large cloth horns sewn onto the fabric…He is served with kleren or rum…

Bossou is also a great protector of those who honor him…You can set up a small table for him. [And here the book suggests one of the saint images associated with him, a Buddha or a bull or minotaur picture or figurine.] Place a red scarf on the table; run a red candle when you wish to speak with Bossou. (In Haiti, he is typically honored on Tuesday.) You can occasionally feed him beef or chicken; Bossou likes his food spicy, with a red sauce.

From The Little Book of Vodou by Leah Gordon:

Bosou is a mighty bull spirit, represented with two horns. He is an unpredictable spirit, and, like his secular bestial counterpart, has a fiery and torrid temper. Bosou is associated with the fecundity of the soil…[he] is the earth, the fruit, and the seed, and is also associated with male virility.

Colors: Red, black, white

Symbols: Bull’s head, horns

Offering: Fried beef

Catholic Counterpart:  St. Vincent de Paul

For more in-depth info on Bossou, all three of the above-mentioned books have decent sections on him.

I also recommend the following link:

http://www.sosyetedumarche.com/html/bossou.html

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12 Responses to “Some info on the lwa Bossou”

  1. Thank you for the information! In like fashion, know anything about La Sirene? She recently started walking beside a friend of mine. I can’t say much to her as I do not walk with her.

    Also, that book by Leah Gordon… a good purchase? I’m trying to snap up all I can on the Lwa.

    • cheshirecatman Says:

      I can post some info from the above books about La Sirene soon. Plus she is part of my escort, so I can give you a bit more info based on personal experience.

      The Leah Gordon book is small and not super in-depth, but a wonderful intro to someone who is just starting out in Vodou. I wished I’d had it 3 years ago. Even at this point, however, I like it because it has a lot of pictures. So if someone wanted to know what an asson looked like, they can simply flip through the book and find a nice photo.

  2. Good post, its true that sometimes its hard to find information about the Iwasif your not initiated to a house. Recently I have been looking for information about Gran Bwa. He has been very quietly connecting with me. I searched for weeks, finally I asked a respected bruja I know. She gave me some nice info to at least start with.

    • cheshirecatman Says:

      When I started out in Vodou, I thought Gran Bwa might be one of the lwa with me, but so far it has not turned out to be true. He is an interesting lwa whom I’ve heard described as both benevolent and wild.

  3. I have personaly communed with Bossou 🙂 he is a beast but very protective of those he chosen. so off topice anyone know of a “house” or anyone that practices in Kansas City Missouri?

    • cheshirecatman Says:

      I don’t know of anyone in Kansas City, but will keep my eyes and ears open. You might try joining some online discussion groups (there are a number of groups on Facebook and Yahoo); it was through an online group that I found Vodouisants in my area.

    • Im late to the party, but we’ve got Vodou here in Kansas City. 😉 Im a Houngan initiated through a house in Boston (that I travel to regularly and can easily bring you out to sometime) and just opened a shop in Westport a few months ago (Called Good Luck; we’re on central st, just off westport rd between broadway and main)

      • cheshirecatman Says:

        Thanks for the comment, Houngan. I don’t know if your Kansas City shop was open at the time of the above comment, or I would have referred them to you 🙂

  4. Reginald Crosley M.D., writes: “Bossou trios cornea …was an ancestral loa of the royal family in Tohosou land, who was deformed offspring and was canonized as a sacred monster or Toxosu. The cult of Bossou no longer exists in Dahomey.”
    Just thought I’d share some research I read regarding the topic on Haitian-Vodou, considering the lack of availability.

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