Voodoo Veve symbols
A Veve is a popular religious symbol used in several Vodun branches throughout the African diaspora, including Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo. The veve represents a lwa during ceremonies and serves as its “beacon” for the lwa. Every lwa has a distinctive veve of its own, however, occasionally various veves for the same lwa have resulted from geographical variances. They frequently receive sacrifices and offerings, with food and wine being the most popular choices. Veve may have started as the Nsibidi system of writing for the Igboid and Ekoid languages of West and Central Africa or as the cosmogram of the Kongo people. Veve is typically painted on the floor during rituals and other formalities by scattering a powder-like substance, most frequently cornmeal, wheat flour, bark, red brick powder, or gunpowder. However, the exact substance used depends largely on the ritual. A blend of cornmeal and wood ash is used in the Haitian Vodou.
Veves employ iconography to express the spirit being invoked. The picture includes coded images that reveal the matrilineal and patrilineal culture of the artist and reveal details about their ancestry. Offerings are usually made; in Louisiana Voodoo, this can take the form of a cup of coffee or candy that represents the spirit. Invoking the spirit is often done at the veve’s center cross. Veve may be turned into banners, wall hangings, paintings, patchwork, screen prints, and more.