The these beautiful bottles are called in Kreyol "Boutey Lwa" - Lwa bottles, for they are made on the point of a particular Lwa and are dedicated to them as an offering and altar.
Boutey Lwa are often used as magical boci - protective icons that confer a Lwa's energy signature to the bearer. In ancient west Africa, boci were made specifically for kings and rulers by boci priests - men and women trained especially in the creation of magic and sacred objects. These practitioners were not unlike the sorcerers of Europe, fashioning power objects from the materials around them, then giving those objects power by naming them, and focusing them on specific tasks or duties.
A boutey is like a repository for the Lwa's power. Packed with materials that draw the Lwa to you, it acts as a focus for your work and your service. In Africa, boci were fashioned from clay or wood and were shaped like the human form. Haiti vodousants are very clever. Without the natural resources such as clay, they looked at an empty, discarded bottle and said, "That has a human form..” and Voila! Boutey were born. In Haiti today, they retain the boci imagery by adding the Creole twist of being a repository as well as a focal point for the Lwa. Some boutey are just decorative - they are meant to hold liquid offerings for the Lwa. But these boutey are much more than just pretty objects for your altar. They are "alive" with the inherit energy of the Lwa they were made for. Each one is created uniquely for the client - we use the appropriate colors, imagery and items for each Lwa. Manbo Vye Zo ties each one for you - a true hand made work of art and spirit. Ayibobo!