LEGBA - Guardian of the Crossroads

Legba

NPS

Legba represents a West African and Caribbean Voodoo god. This god has many different names depending on the region in which he is worshipped is most commonly known in Haiti as Papa Legba. Papa Legba serves as the guardian of the Poto Mitan--the center of power and support in the home. Additionally, he allows for communication between humans and the spirit world. According to West African Voodoo practices, spirits of the dead are not able to inhabit one's body unless permitted by Papa Legba. The symbol for Legba typically has a red background, one of his representative colors. The symbol includes several keys which signify Legba's control over communications and forms of passage, including locks, gates, and passageways;it also includes a cane, as Papa Legba is generally depicted as an old and feeble man in the Haitian religion. There are many chants to summon Papa Legba, one of which is: Papa Legba, Open the gate for me/Atibon Legba, Open the gate for me/Open the gate for me/Papa that I may pass/When I return I will thank the Lwa.

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Last updated: October 22, 2015

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