Also known as: Ezili Danto; Sili Danto
Ezili Dantor is Ezili Freda’s hardworking black sister. She is independent and beholden to no one. Ezili Dantor is sick of crying. She’s had enough tears. She’s a spirit of rage and initiative instead. Ezili Dantor is honored as the spirit who initiated the Haitian Revolution. She fought in the Revolution alongside men. Her lover and partner was Ogoun. When the revolution ended, he cut out her tongue so she couldn’t reveal secrets. In addition to Ogoun, her consorts include Ti Jean Petro and/or Simbi Makaya. Some say she only has sex with male spirits so as to have the children she adores. She really prefers sex with women.
Ezili Dantor lives and breathes for her daughter, Anaïs. Some consider Anaïs her only child, but she may have others, too, including a son, Jan Dantor. Some say she has seven children and place seven dolls on her altar to represent them. An image of another daughter, Manbo Zila, as created by Haitian artist Pierrot Barra, is included in Donald Cosentino’s book, Vodou Things. Ezili Dantor serves as inspiration for artist Betye Saar’s 1996 mixed media assemblage, “Midnight Madonnas.”
Ezili is a guardian of women, especially single mothers.
• Ask her to help you collect your child support.
• Ask her to help you become so financially self-sufficient that you don’t need anyone else’s money.
• Ask her for help if you are trapped in an abusive relationship.
Ezili punishes or manifests anger via shooting, stabbing pains. Someone who has offended her (or harmed her devotee) may begin to inexplicably vomit blood. She may cause rapists to hang themselves.
She engages in mystic marriages with devotees, female as well as male. (See the Glossary entry for Marriage for further details.)
Ezili Dantor is syncretized to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. (The image was brought to Haiti by Polish legions sent to fight for Napoleon. Appalled by the slavery they witnessed, many Polish soldiers mutinied and switched sides.) The child in her arms has been reinterpreted as Anaïs. The scratches on her face were inflicted by her sister, Ezili Freda. (The knife in Ezili Freda’s heart was inflicted by Dantor.)
Ezili Dantor may be venerated alongside her daughter, Anaïs. Anaïs understands her mother perfectly and is very articulate. She often serves as her mother’s translator.
Favored people: Single mothers; working women; market women; lesbians; female soldiers; stroke victims; her children (that’s you, if she accepts you as a devotee)
Manifestation: A sturdily built dark-skinned woman; she may have facial scars; she may or may not be able to speak. She holds a child with one hand and a knife in the other.
Iconography: Ezili Dantor is represented by the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. La Madama statues are also used to represent her, as is the Queen of Spades playing card. A tarot Queen of Swords card may also be used.
Various Ezilis span the spectrum of rage: Ezili Freda is so frustrated that she weeps uncontrollably. Ezili Dantor is seething but still stolid and under control. Ezili La Flambeau is enflamed with rage. Ezili Ge-Rouge is so livid, the blood vessels in her eyes are popping. If she were a mortal woman, not a goddess, she’d be having a stroke.
Emblem: Bowl of blood
Animal: Haitian black pig (a specific breed)
Perfumes: Rêve-d’Or (L. T Piver); Florida Water
Days: Tuesday, Saturday
Colors: Red, blue
Plants: Red hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.); Eugenia crenulata (in Haiti: zo-devan)
Offerings: Cigarettes; Barbancourt rum; homebrew; pineapples; sweet red wine; knives; daggers; fried pork; pepper jelly; corn products: corn sprinkled with gunpowder; corn and pepper omelette; corn bread, muffins, and tortillas; honey with cinnamon and cayenne pepper sprinkled over it; milagro of heart pierced with swords
From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.
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