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Kouzen Zaka

Kouzen Zaka

Papa Azaka presides over the ancient, profound bonds between Earth and agricultural people. He is the divine country cousin and something of a trickster. He is generous, hardworking, good-natured, and protective, but if he’s not well fed or considers himself disrespected, he can be mean and vicious. Like a stereotypical peasant, Papa Zaka is convinced that everyone is always out to rob him.

Unlike most lwa who come from Africa, Azaka may have been born in Haiti: He is the spirit who presides over alliances between African and indigenous Haitians (Taino), possibly an indigenous spirit incorporated into the Vodou pantheon. His name may derive from the Taino maza, indicating maize.

He is the sacred peasant. His manners are rough but don’t let his appearance fool you. He is not a powerless peasant but a potent lwa. His ragged clothes and modest demeanor are a bluff to see how you behave. Everyone is respectful toward the rich and beautiful, but how will you treat a poor, ragged country bumpkin?

Papa Zaka hates the rude and stingy and punishes those who exploit and oppress poor workers. If consistently treated with respect, he appreciates it greatly and can be very loyal and protective. However, he is a suspicious spirit who is forever testing people. (If you offend him, he will reject your request and possibly make it backfire. He Demonstrates displeasure via illness that mimics symptoms of food poisoning.)

Papa Zaka knows the secrets of the soil. He is a master herbalist who appears in dreamswith advice and instructions. Papa Zaka is syncretized to Saint Isidore the Laborer, whose iconography also includes a sack slung over one shoulder.
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