According to Haitian mythology and the voodoo tradition the loa cult is led by a priest (hungan) or priestess (mambo) and is composed of a group of divinities whose primary concern is in the affairs of mankind. Each loa represents a different force of nature and the deities are called upon utilizing different vévé (magical pentagrams) while singing and dancing. The loa are led by the snake-god Damballa, betraying their origins in West-African tradition.

Some loa are simply ancestral deities while others are assigned particular places to protect-such as cemeteries, crossroads, lakes and rivers or other holy places.

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