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The secret of the living dead

The secret of the living dead

"The man was lying, without evident signs of life. Around him were naked black people. An old black man with a bracelet of ivory shouted something. On checking whether this man was truly dead, no heartbeat or reaction of the pupils were to be found.

This man was dead. The black people surrounded him and began to scream. They believed that he would wake up and roar and the dead man did exactly that. The man lifted up, and stared at us with glazed eyes ... "

Describes a British doctor in the early twentieth century of the ritual to revive the dead in Tahiti. Since then, voodoo rituals occupy an important place in literature. But art distorts the true ritual.

The secret of the living dead

According to ethnographers who were studying beliefs in Tahiti, voodoo rituals has African roots, but has undergone changes under the influence of Catholicism. Rituals are performed in temples or in the open. With the drums known as the spirit, which dwell in one of the participants in the ceremony. One gives advice to all who need, and specifying penalties for the guilty.

According to the voodoo religion, a man is composed of several parts, a body that died and four spirits. After the man dies, his personality continues to exist thanks to the four spirits. Shamans can return the dead to life, devoid of spirit, and to use them as slaves.

The most famous story is about a man turning into a zombie, he was Klervius Narcissus. His picture shows him sat on his own grave, in the 80's the same picture was seen around the world. In April 1962 he died in hospital. His body was in the morgue one day and then was buried.

Eighteen years later he appeared in the village of Lestra in Tahiti. As soon as his sister arrived, she buried him. Nobody believed him, but he reiterated the facts of his relatives that he only knew. Moreover, external resemblance was undeniable.

He told all that he was fully conscious when he was buried, but could not speak or move. After the funeral, he was dug up by the voodoo sorcerer who beat him with a whip and sent him to Tahiti, where he worked in the cane plantations.