Ogou Feray

Saints: St James Matamoros, Saint James the Greater, others depending on house and lineage

Colours: Red and royal blue

Being an Ogou, Feray’s origins are found back in Africa, among the Yoruba, where Ogun remains a venerated and loved spirit. In Haiti, Ogun subdivided into many Ogou–an entire nation of them–with each representing an aspect of power and its application. Ogou Feray is martial power; he is a soldier, a warrior, and a blacksmith, as well as master of iron. The name ‘Feray’ comes from the French word feraille, which means ‘junk’ or ‘scrap metal’, and by extension, “scrap yard.” This is not to say Feray himself is junk, but speaks to his ability to find use for anything, and to remake it. And this includes us.

In West Africa, the Yoruba still swear oaths on iron in Ogun’s name; taking such oaths is a serious matter and they need to be kept. The Ogou lwa are spirits of justice, and breaking these oaths is a sure way to call down their wrath. Feray is a defender of the oppressed and the downtrodden, and when one seeks him help it’s best to be sure one is actually the innocent in a matter.

Feray is a consummate warrior, and is swaggering, boisterous, and fond of rum, cigars, and women. He is not subtle (although he can be sly) and I’m fond of likening him to a combination of Blackadder’s Lord Flashheart and Captain Jack Sparrow.

Often given a machete or a sword (depending on the house), Feray’s exact rank is also flexible from house to house and sosyete to sosyete, in some being subordinate to Ogou Badagris, and in others his superior.

Being a man’s man, Feray is a lwa frequently married by women who practice Vodou, although he is usually balanced out with a cooler lwa, such as Kouzen, Agwe, or Dambala.

Offerings to Feray include, but are not limited to, machetes, swords, rum, iron, riz ak pwa, spicy meats, military medals and other items, mushwas in his colours, scotch, and kleren.