What Are the Ghede?

In the religious practice of vodou, the Ghede (pronounced geh-day) represent the loa (pronounced loo-wah) who are spirits that represent death and fertility. For some death may be no laughing matter, but the Ghede are lively jokers and cigar smokers. There’s Baron Samedi, the biggest and the baddest, and his wife Maman Brigitte; Baron Kriminel, sort of a patron saint for those who want revenge against certain criminals; and Cimitière, the watchman of graveyards. This is by no means a complete list of the ghede.

But for us, Papa Ghede is the most important. Known for wearing a tall top hat and a pair of sunglasses missing a lens, he’s the guardian of young people, which makes him the perfect mascot for dark YA fiction.

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(Painting of the vévé for the ghede Baron Samedi by Katelan Foisy.)

The ghede are often associated with the colors purple, black, and white. So, we’re pretty fond of those colors, if you couldn’t tell.

In the near future, we will also be branching out into crime humor, a la Donald Westlake. (Hmm. Perhaps we’ll need to talk to Baron Kriminel.) So, be sure to sign up for our blog posts to get the latest news!

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