San Rafael – Tin Djo Alagwe of the Indian Division

 The Indian Division makes up 1/3 of the divisions within Dominican Vodou, and is one of the biggest. This division is highly neglected, however, so very little accurate information can actually be found on it. I hope to clarify and enlighten you on this mysterious, powerful, yet rarely served Division.

The Indian Division is often referred to as Agua Dulce (Sweet Water) and these Misterios often work with water. The leaders of this Agua Dulce Division are Caonabo and Anacaona. During a Bautizo, the initiate to be is taken to a river to receive the punto of this Division. The point bestows clarity, clarifies spiritual abilities, prosperity, and healing. We also work with this division for all the aforementioned as well as spiritual cleansings.

This is a beautiful Division with many different Lwa within it. The Indians usually served are Taino, although there were other lesser known Indian tribes on the island of Hispaniola. We serve this division often by giving them servicios (services) of sweet fruit, incense, fresh water and candles.

Caonabo was a chief among the Manguana tribe and his wife was the princess Anacaona. Caonabo died when captured, and Anacaona was hanged by the Spanish. Anacaona is now served, in Dominican Vodou, as one of the vueltas (paths) of Anaisa.

Like Anaisa, Anacaona loves perfume. As such we serve her by pouring perfume on her statue or sometimes sprinkling it around her. She is served with beer in the same manner as Anaisa is, and is given a red candle. Some will light a lamp in her honor. Like I said, this Division is highly neglected.

Tin Djo Alagwe is highly known in the Division as well. He is associated with San Rafael. This is because of this angel’s connection to water and healing. He is given light blue and pink fulas (kerchiefs), is also served beer, cigars, and fed baked fish, often herring in particular. He is a fine healer within this division.

Indio De La Paz, or The Indian of Peace, is also served here. We give him a cigar and rum. He often sings when in possession. He will sit on the floor with a great chief’s headdress (as typically seen, with many feathers). He is served with the color white, although he is sometimes also given light green.

Carmelina Dan Soley is yet another, lesser known, part of this Division. She is served with bright yellows, golden yellows, and orange colors. She prefers oranges, pineapples, and grapefruit. She is served perfume, beer, and some give her cigarettes instead of cigars.

Indio Bravo or Indio Guerrero is the Brave Indian Warrior of the Division. He is served with dark Green and Red. He is often seen holding a double headed axe, although there are also images of him with bows and arrows. When he comes, the horse’s eyes will often be crossed, though not always. He smokes cigars and drinks dark rum.

There are many others within this division. Some of them are Enriquillo, Gamao, Carmela, Carmelo, India del Agua Azul, Mencia, Tamayo, and others.

The Indians are also kept away from the other Divisions. They don’t mix in with them, and thus they are often kept away from the altar, having their own altar. Sometimes, they are kept in a different location all together. People will take a clay jar and place seven stones from a river within it. Half filled with water, this jar is kept perfumed and sometimes decorated with various items, such as seeds, ribbons, beads, etc. Some individuals will place different herbs inside the water to attract these Indian Lwa. Others place perfume and flowers inside. This often reflects the messages given by the Indians as to what is to be put inside. Some Houses have very specific items to place in the clay jar.

The Indians are given cigars to smoke. They eat cornmeal, love sweet smelling incenses (such as fruit based or often copal resin), fresh fruit and flowers. Water is always present. They are given vegetables such as cassava, yams, and other vegetables of an earthy quality, as well as bread. We will also give them rum, which they are highly fond of. Certain Indians are known to drink beer instead.


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