Erzulie Freda & Erzulie Dantor
A long time ago in Africa there once lived a beautiful, noble and powerful queen named Maîtresse Erzulie. She rulled wisley in a kingdom known as Whydah, Dahomey in what is presently known as the Republic of Benin
Maîtresse Erzulie greatly respected and loved because she was known for her skills in commercial trading which not only benefited her kingdom but all her people. Maîtresse Erzulie was so skilled in the arts of trading that she not only traded with surrounding villages but also with other nations which made her very wealthy.
One night when the moon was under the Black Moon as Maîtresse Erzulie was fast asleep a male intruder came into her room and sexually assaulted the Queen. The intruder disguised his face in a mask and who he was, was never revealed to the Queen.
Since the Queen never knew the identity of the rapist, she kept the incident a secret from her subjects, in the fears that it would create a civil war amongst her people.
As time passed Maîtresse Erzulie realized that she was pregnant, and to keep her subjects calm she blamed the pregnancy on a deity who visited her from the heavens above and had intercourse with her. This of course made her subjects happy as the child within her womb would be a divine child.
Maîtresse Erzulie was then brought to the Great Diviner who would fortell the future of the child within her womb. When the diviner cast his bones and shells, he saw that within Maîtresse Erzulie's womb grew two female fetuses, and that a day would come when they to would be queens and that the day would come when people all around the world would love and venerate them greatly.
After 9 months Maîtresse Erzulie did give birth to two healthy baby girls. One was a beautiful dark skin child with thick curly hair and eyes as black as cole, the other child was a mulatta with lighter skin, straight brunette hair and eyes as blue as the ocean.
The twins where named after her, the darker complexion child was named Erzulie Dantor and the lighter child was named Erzulie Freda. Although the conception of the twins filled Maîtresse Erzulie with nightmares, and she never truly trusted men, she also never confided to any one how she had conceived the girls through rape. She loved the girls more than she had ever loved anyone in her life as they had come to fill a void within her life that no one could fill.
As the twin daughters were not identical, they were different in every way. Erzulie Freda loved music and dancing, enjoyed jewellery and perfumes, was very feminine and was partial to wearing pink, light blue, white, yellow, orange and gold. Erzulie Dantor was less feminine and enjoyed the arts of battles and weaponry and was partial to wearing clothes of red, green and navy blue.
No child on the earth before them or after them could wish for a greater mother, as Maîtresse Erzulie was known for being a noble queen, she also was a good mother, and taught her daughters everything from the arts of magic, herbalism, divination, fortune telling, she taught them the mysteries of the moon, stars the sun, and of all the beauties that life had to offer. Maîtresse Erzulie instructed them on how to one day be noble and just queens as she was. But one knowledge Maîtresse Erzulie could not teach her daughters was the mysteries of the love a woman feels for a man, as she herself had never been in love with a man, had no interest in male companionship and she could not teach her daughter's these mysteries.
As Erzulie Dantor and Erzulie Freda grew into young ladies a time had come when strange white missionary men from across the seas came to their kingdom. The missionaries at first observing the twins could not agree which one was the more beautiful of the two, as each was stunning in the eyes of all who laid eyes upon them. But one thing the missionaries from across the sea could not get over was the exotic look of Erzulie Freda, and how different her skin tone was to that of the rest of the subjects in the kingdom. They especially were in aw of Erzulie Freda's blue eyes which resembled the color of the seas and skies. They asked Queen Maîtresse Erzulie if they could bring Erzulie Freda across the sea to their home in Spain, where Erzulie Freda would receive education amongst the royal Spanish crown and be schooled in the mysteries of Christianity, they also promised Maîtresse Erzulie that Erzulie Freda would become as a Spanish aristocratic noble woman. Maîtresse Erzulie could not bare the thought of loosing one of her beloved child, but although the pain stabbed her within her heart like a jagged blade, she knew deep within her heart that this would be beneficial not only to Erzulie Freda in being a posative ambassador for Dahomey but also in establishing a relationship with the white man of the royal kingdom of Spain. So with great pain within her chest Maîtresse Erzulie gave permission for the missionaries to take her daughter with them across the seas. On the day that Erzulie Freda was to depart Maîtresse Erzulie and Erzulie Dantor took her to the port to wish her farewell, Maîtresse Erzulie began to morn her child for she did not know that it would be seven years of pain within her heart before she would set eyes again on her beloved Erzulie Freda.
So deep was the love of the Queen for her daughter, that she stood on the shore until the ship faded into the horizon. All the while Maîtresse Erzulie cast flower petals into the ocean praying to the great mother La Sirene Yemonja to watch and protect her child.
After a few years of Erzulie Freda's departure from Dahomey, Maîtresse Erzulie's kingdom had witnessed many wars. First came the iinvasion of the Arabian then came the invasion of the Egyptians, each with the intent of stealing the wealth of her kingdom and enslaving her people.
Although Maîtresse Erzulie was known as a noble and just Queen, she was also known as a fierce warrior, and although she and her kingdom fought courageously she knew very well that her army's strength was dwindling. Worried, Maîtresse Erzulie sent an urgent message to the great warrior king of southwestern Nigeria, Ogun, in the message she wrote that if Ogun would send an army of his finest warriors to help her kingdom in the battles and wars that befell them; that she would give her daughter's Erzulie Dantor hand in matrimony to he who aided her in leading her people into victorty. Ogun being one of the most respected and feared warrior Kings in all of Africa sent his two eldest sons, Ogun Balendjo and Ogun Badagris, each accompanied by the fiercest and bravest legion of warriors.
When Ogun Balendjo and Ogun Badagris arrived at the palace of Maîtresse Erzulie she was moved to tears at seeing that Ogun's eldest sons where in fact twin brothers and like her daughters one was darker and the other lighter. Ogun Balendjo was a handsome strong dark muscular knight while Ogun Badagris was equally handsome, equally as muscular and built but was of a lighter skin complexion with auburn hair. Erzulie Dantor immediately became attracted to Ogun Balendjo, while.the lighter Ogun Badagris immediately felt a deep attraction to the ebony princess Erzulie Dantor.
Both Ogun Balendjo and Ogun Badagris defended Maîtresse Erzulie kingdom fiercely, and they fought valiantly any and all intruders that dare come to attack the kingdom. But in the mists of a great battle Ogun Badagris was wounded badly to the point that he had to be removed from the battlefield. His brother Ogun Balendjo fought like no other single warrior had before or after him, with the exception of his father Ogun, who was the greatest warrior Earth has ever known. Ogun Balendjo fought so bravely that he was the last man standing in the battlefield.
Overjoyed with contentment Maîtresse Erzulie fulfilled the promise she had made of giving Erzulie Freda's hand in marriage to Ogun Balendjo. This of course added to Ogun Badagris wounds as he had secretly fallen deeply in love with Erzulie Freda and had wished to have made her his wife.
Prior to the battles and the Ogun brothers setting foot in Dahomey, Erzulie Freda who had been taken to Spain to receive formal education in a monastery, had finished her schooling and was on her way back to her native homeland. On her journey through Cadiz Spain into Moracco, Africa the beautiful princess was kidnapped by a band of thieves and sold into prostitution. Erzulie Freda was a young and beautiful mulatta that was neither black nor white and she was an exquisite jewell to all who laid eyes upon her. This made her very popular amongst her forced clientele who visited the brothel, as her lips were as sweet as honey and her skin had the faint aroma of cinnamon, citrus fruits and anise. Her clientele where so charmed by her beauty that they showered her with gifts of golden charms, jewelry, perfumes, scented oils, cloths from Egypt, the Orient and money that rivaled that of any empress that had lived at the time.
Erzulie Freda's strength to endure this atrocity forced upon her was that she secretly stashed away most of her profits and all of the gifts her clientele gave her with the hopes to somehow escape the lifestyle she was forced to live and return to her mother's kingdom. And while she smiled, laughed, danced and seemed merry to all who saw her, alone at night in her chambers she would weep for what her life had become.
With her fame and fortune, Erzulie Freda plotted her escape from this undignified lifestyle that she had been forced to live. One night when the moon was as black and the night she and her sister were conceived, she gathered all her belongings and escaped her confinement. She made it back up north to Cadiz, Spain where she meet an African pirate by the name of Ague Taroyo. Erzulie Freda quickly recognized that Ague Toroyo's accent was similar to that of the people of her mothers kingdom.
Erzulie Freda begged Ague Taroyo to return her back to her mother's kingdom, and that she would give a big reward if he did so. Ague Taroyo knew well the queen and although he was the greatest pirate the earth had ever seen, he had heard the stories of how one of the Queen's daughters had been taken to Spain. In part because of the great respect he had for Maîtresse Erzulie and because he as all men could not resist the powerful beauty of Erzulie Freda he agreed to return her back to Dahomey to her mother's kingdom free of charge. Especially since he was going to the port of Whydah and Guinea, how could he refuse.
When they arrived at the port of Whydah, Ague Taroyo sent a messenger to Maîtresse Erzulie, that after seven long years her daughter Erzulie Freda had returned home. The Queen Maîtresse Erzulie was overjoyed with the news that her daughter had finally arrived home, she wanted to prepare the biggest feast ever witnessed; as she sent a Caravan of escorts with the great Ogun Balendjo leading the group.
This was great news for Maîtresse Erzulie since her daughter Erzulie Dantor would marry Ogun Balendjo within a few days, and now the great return of her daughter Erzulie Freda filled her heart with joy. This would be a week of festivities thought Maîtresse Erzulie. But when Ogun Balendjo set eyes on the beauty of Erzulie Freda he felt an instant attraction, never had his eyes seen such an exquisite beautiful mulatta with eyes as blue as the skies above and seas below. Erzulie Freda also felt a sudden attraction to Ogun Balendjo, never had she set eyes on such a tall, noble, muscular, elegant handsome man in her life. Although Erzulie Freda's sister Erzulie Dantor was equally as beautiful, Ogun Balendjo had never felt such an instant attraction to a woman in all his life.
Ogun Balendjo plotted within his head, how was he to make Erzulie Freda his wife, so he escorted her the long way home, and spoke to her the most beautiful words he had ever said, for Erzulie Freda's beauty inspired the great warrior poetic words that flowed like honey through his lips. When they reached the Osun River in Nigria the love for them was strong and they made love by the river banks.
After the long journey through Nigeria that should have been short they finally made it to the palace of Maîtresse Erzulie. The Queen was overjoyed and the biggest feast the kingdom had ever seen had commenced. During the festivities Erzulie Freda asked to speak privately with her mother. In the courtyard Erzulie Freda confessed her undying love for Ogun Balendjo and if there was a way that the Queen could break off the marriage of Ogun Balendjo with her sister Erzulie Dantor.
Maîtresse Erzulie was a wise Queen beyond words and always found an answer or solution to any and all problems, but this one truly had her puzzled. How could she as a mother take away the happiness of one daughter to give to another? After awhile of contemplation she finally answered.
"Erzulie Freda you are my daughter as is Erzulie Dantor, and I would give anything in my kingdom to you, I would gladly give my life for you both. But what you ask is beyond my power, and something I cannot possibly give. My answer to you is to speak with your sister Erzulie Dantor and see if she would agree to break off the commitment she has to Ogun Balendjo and give him freely to you."
Erzulie Freda knew deep within her heart that her sister Erzulie Dantor would never agree to such a notion, for both sisters where very zealous of what they perceived as personal properties.
Erzulie Freda then devised a plot, she asked her sister Erzulie Dantor to meet her in the gardens in the outskirts of the palace, alone without Erzulie Dantor bringing her loyal house madiens. She asked her sister to meet her under the large Pomarrosa tree. Hidden within her breasts she had a dagger. When Erzulie Dantor arrived Erzulie Freda told her of her love for Ogun Balendjo and that they had made love by the banks of the Osun river where the Goddess Oshun had blessed their union. Erzulie Dantor's first reaction was that of sorrow, as tears formed in her eyes, but being a great warrior as was her mother, she quickly became enraged and physically attacked her sister under the great Pamarossa tree. Erzulie Freda was preparred for the outcome and quickly withdrew the dagger from her breasts and sliced her sister on the right side of the cheak two deep gashes. But Erzulie Dantor was a greater warrior than her sister and was able to subdue her sister and take the dagger from her. Then Erzulie Dantor plunged the dagger straight into Erzulie Freda's heart leaving her for dead, she left her there under the Pamarrosa tree. But Erzulie Dantor did have great love for her sister as remorse filled her heart of the tragedy that had unfolded. She then went to the Queen's chambers and told her mother what had happened and that Erzulie Freda lay under the tree.
The Queen Maîtresse Erzulie sent men to bring her her daughter as quickly as possible. When Erzulie Freda was carried into the palace she was almost dead. Maîtresse Erzulie fearing loosing her daughter's life, sent for all the greatest healers of the nation, but none could restore Erzulie Freda back to health, until the great forest hermit Ogun Osanje the greatest healer and master herbalist came. He alone was able to restore Erzulie Freda's health with his magic and knowledge of all healing herbs and medicine.
One night when Erzulie Freda was recovering Ogun Balendjo sneaked into her room and proposed that that very night they would escape the kingdom and never part from each others side. After the fight with her sister Erzulie Freda had grown remorse for her actions against Erzulie Dantor, but her great love for Ogun Balendjo was stronger still, and although she knew Ogun Balendjo and her sister Erzulie Dantor were to wed the following day, she became blindsided by the overwhelming love she felt for Ogun Balendjo and agreed to escape with him.
That night they rode on Ogun Balendjo's trusted white steed to the a near port where Ague Taroyo's ship docked for the night. Ogun Balendjo paid a large fee and Ague Taroyo set sail to another far off port in a faraway country.
Unknown to both Ezili Dantor and Maîtresse Erzulie that Erzulie Freda and Ogun Balndjo had left during the night they proceed with the plans for the wedding. But unknown to Erzulie Dantor this would not start off as a happy occasion, until she realized that Ogun Balendjo was not going to show up for their wedding.
There in front of the altar and the wedding guests stood Erzulie Dantor, and when humiliation crept on her because she realized that her husband to be was no where in sight, did she began to cry tears of rage and sorrow. So frustrated was Erzulie Dantor that the wounds upon her face opened and began to bleed. Just when all was lost, Ogun Badagris who had always loved her came before her and her guests riding his black steed. He went before her and tenderly dried the blood that formed from tears as well as the blood that came from her wounds. Then he declared infront of all who where present before them, his undying love towards her, and asked her if she would be his wife. Just then Erzulie Dantor realized that she had been betrothed to the wrong brother. As she looked deep into Ogun Badagri's blue eyes, she realized that she had fallen in love with him, and excerpted to be his wife, they wed that day and nine months later she gave birth to a young daughter that she named Maisia Noquea who would be born as dark and as lovely as her mother, but with the blue eyes of her father. Although Erzulie Dantors rage and desire for vengeance against her sister and her would be husband Ogun Balendjo grew and would never truly be forgiven, she found solace in her beautiful daughter and in her husband Ogun Badagris who was a faithful and loving husband.
Maîtresse Erzulie felt the greatest fury and betrayal a mother could feel, and after the wedding ordered her new son in law Ogun Badagris army to search for both Erzulie Freda and Ogun Balendjo, but they could not find them in all of Africa, as they had made their way to a far off undiscovered continent far away. But Maîtresse Erzulie knew that the day would come when she would unleash her fury on Ogun Balendjo as he was one of the heirs to the throne of his father Ogun's kingdom of Oyo in Nigeria.
As years passed Erzulie Freda who had changed her name to Metre Sili so that she would not be found, sent message with the sea pirate Ague Taroyo to Africa. For she, Erzulie Freda ( Metre Sili ) could never live in peace knowing the betrayal and wrong she had done to her sister, and wanted to ask forgiveness from both. Erzulie Dantor would never forgive her but the Queen Maîtresse Erzulie who had taken the name Gran Sili because this is what her first grandchild Maisia Noquea called her yearned to see Erzulie Freda again, for as any mother Maîtresse Erzulie ( Gran Sili ) would always forgive her children. She sent a message with Ague Taroyo, that she had forgiven her and that she named a province of her kingdom Fredah in which she would leave for Erzulie Freda to rule and govern.
Although Erzulie Dantor never got a chance to seek her wrathful vengeance on Erzulie Freda, Destiny, Karma and Fate as they usually do made sure to take matters into their own hands. For Erzulie Freda and Ogun Balendjo were never truly happy. Ogun Balendjo was known to be an unfaithful husband, and had lovers and wives in every port and city he visited; and although Erzulie Freda suffered her husband's womanizing infidelities she too could be vengeful and married Ague Taroyo, and then Dambalah. Although Ogun Balendjo was a womanizer he always loved Erzulie Freda dearly as did she him.
Erzulie Dantor also made it to the new world with her husband Ogun Badagris, and between both Erzulie Freda and Erzulie Dantor they had many children, each named after their grandmother Gran Sili. Such as Erzulie Balianne, Erzulie Mansur, Erzulie Mapiangue, Erzulie Yeux Rouge, Erzulie Yeux Rouge, Erzulie Toho, Erzulie La Flambeau, Erzulie Wangol,
Since then and until the ends of time, although Erzulie Dantor secreatly loves her sister she can not find it in her heart to ever forgive her the betrayal and shame she put her through.
This story of the two Metresa Loases is similar to the rivalry held between the Orisha Ochun, Oya and Obba, some versions of the Orisha tale might include Yewa and Yemaya.
On the altar Erzulie Dantor is kept cose to Ogun Badgris while Erzulie Freda is kept close to Ogun Balendjo.