Papa Legba is the first Lwa to salute in a Vodou ceremony Legba is the gatekeeper he’s the one to open the gates for the Lwa.
Atibon Legba, Alegba, Legba Sanyan, Legba Zankliyan, Legba Mizè ba.
Song for Legba
“Legba nan baryè a
Legba na baryè a
Legba nan barye a se ou ki pote drapo
se ou ki pra’l pare solèy pou lwa yo”
Legba is at the gate
Legba is at the gate
Legba is at the gate, it is you who carry the flag
It is you who will protect the loa from the sun
Chant pou Papa Legba
“Papa Legba ouvre baye pou mwen, Ago eh!
Papa Legba Ouvre baye pou mwen,
Ouvre baye pou mwen, Papa
Pou mwen passe, Le’m tounnen map remesi Lwa yo!”
Legba controls the entrance and departure of the Lwa into and out of the temple. Without his permission, no Lwa will be able to enter the peristyle and addressing the Lwa will go in vain. Legba is the master of doors, gateways, and highways. Points of intersection are also under his control.
Papa Legba is an old, (mostly) peaceful, sexually impotent man. He is seen as a small old black man who wears beggar’s clothing. He has sores, a lame foot and a twisted limb. This is deceptive though, as he is a very powerful Lwa. One can see this during his possessions, in which Legba can demonstrate his great strength. He walks with a crutch (sometimes a twisted cane), carries a djakout, smokes a tobacco pipe and wears a straw hat. Legba’s straw sack, djakout, can often be seen hanging off of a tree with his offerings inside. Even in all his conditions, Legba has a wife. He oftentimes “leans” on his wife for support. His wife’s name is Adjessi.
Most Legba eat in a kwi (calabash bowl) but I know one Legba who eats on a specially prepared mat on the floor, and another who actually eats off of the floor!
Legba may also drink coffee, cola, and trempe. Trempe is kleren steeped in different herbs. He is also known to take akasan, siwo, and palm oil. He also eats toasted corn, and peanuts, which are a staple that is often offered to many Lwa. He likes sugar cane, bananas, and bread. He is also fond of yams, malanga, and other similar vegetables. He likes cakes decorated in his colors. He also likes popcorn, and many times during Legba (and sometimes Marassa) time of service, an initiate may be seen dancing with a laye full of popcorn, peanuts, and pieces of coconut that have been sprinkled with spices.
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