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Baron Samedi

Baron Samedi is the loa (or lwa) of Death, Life, Fertility, and Healing. Loa are the key spirits in Haitian Vodou that serve as intermediaries between humans and the Supreme Creator. He's described as an African man wearing a top hat, tuxedo, and dark glasses with his face painted as a skull. In some images he is depicted with cotton plugged into his nostrils like a corpse or with one lens missing from his sunglasses.

skull, cigar, cross, top hat, st martin de porres, rum, baron samedi, voodoo

Baron is an obscene being with a taste for cigars, rum, and debauchery. He can be called upon for a multitude of reasons. Commonly he is summoned for his ability to cure illnesses or to deal with the dead and afterlife. He's keen to making deals with humans who want to use his power, but these deals often lead to risky tests of character and can end very tragically for the human. If things go well the human can be accepted as an associate and receive fair deals in the future.

Baron Samedi is the head of the Guédé, a family of loa associated with the realm of the dead. His wife Maman Brigitte is never too far from his side. She is the loa of life, death, cemeteries, justice, and motherhood. Like Baron, she is obscene, lustful, and swears heavily. Baron has several other incarnations: Baron Criminel, Baron Cimitière, and Maron Lacroix.

In 1685 King Louis XIV of France passed a decree called Code Noir that made it illegal for enslaved Africans to openly practice their native religions. Under this order oppressors had to baptize their captives as Roman Catholics and teach them the religion. Turning an enslave African into a Cristian was looked at as a way for the oppressors to justify their actions. They partially saw themselves as some sort of missionaries. Because of this Africans paired their native religion with elements of Catholicism and many loa have biblical and saint counterparts. Baron Samedi is connected to St. Martin De Porres and Maman Brigitte is connected to Mary Magdalene.

The Art

While working on art inspired by Baron Samedi, I started off closer to the literal sense of what I think would represent this entity symbolically. Above is a looped animation of Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte posing on top of a casket filled with skulls. They're sitting in front of a row of large crosses and television screens displaying Baron's veve (symbol).

Veve of Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte

Below is the same scene but with a wide shot from the center of the room. The largest cross sits in between 2 caskets similar to the symbols drawn on Baron's Veve.

Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte on a casket

The altar, pictured below and at the very top of this blog post, features gifts offered to Baron in exchange for his cooperation. This altar has a cross, a cigar, a top hat, the skull of an ancestor, and a bottle of peppered rum. In the Animation, the television screen symbolizes Baron dialing in from the spirit world.


Baron Samedi NFTs


Chapel of Samedi


Baron Samedi

Ghost Market on Phantasma Blockchain

The Altar of Baron Samedi

Ghost Market on Phantasma Blockchain

Baron's Altar

Ghost Market on Phantasma Blockchain

Baron Samedi & Maman Brigitte

Hic et nunc on Tezos Blockchain

Veve of Baron Samedi

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