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Damballa : The Cosmic Serpent


At a glance

Origin African Mythology
Classification Gods
Family Members Ayida-Weddo (Wife), Erzulie Freda (Wife)
Region Benin
Associated With Creation



The powerful Voodoo deity Damballah is depicted as a rainbow in the sky with his wife Ayida. He is also represented by an interconnected air of serpents, which signifies sexual unity. On Earth, the lesser Damballah, Simbi, is a creature that is known to nourish springs and rains.

Dan Petro is also known as the stern serpent who lives up the tree. This is a legacy of the slave revolt that led to Haiti’s emergence as a free colony in 1804. Despite their names, the cosmic serpents of Damballah, Petro, and Simbi are not different deities. The Damballah Wedo deity is associated with St. Patrick, who sent serpents to the sea.

Physical Traits

Traditionally, Damballa is depicted as a great white serpent, which originated from the city of Wedo in modern-day Ouidah in the state of Benin. He is believed to be the first thing Gran Met created.


In some Voodoo societies, Ayida-Wedo is Damballa’ wife. In others, he has a different relationship with Erzulie Frederica. Although they have been lovers before, she may once again be considered his wife.

Other names

Damballa, also spelled Damballah, Dambala, Dambalah, among other variations.

Powers and Abilities

According to some Voodoo societies, Damballa is regarded as the Sky Father, or the first creator of all life. He is said to have used 7,000 coils to create the stars and planets in the universe. He also created Earth by shaping its hills and valleys. 

The shedding of the serpent’s skin allowed Damballa to create all of the Earth’s waters. As a serpent, Damballa moves between the land and the water, which creates life and brings the world together. He is often associated with Moses or Saint Patrick.

Although Damballa is seen as kind, wise, and patient, he is also detached from the daily struggles and tribulations of humans. Due to his extreme age, he can’t speak, but he can make a soft, hissing sound as he is a serpent. He represents a continuum that is at once ancient and the future.

Modern Day Influence

Damballa’s name was used in the Child’s Play franchise as the main antagonist Chucky uses his voodoo incantations to transfer his soul to the Good Guy Doll’s host. In Sierra, the titular character Gabriel Knight teams up with the former to solve a series of murders. John Edgar Wideman’s short story collection Damballah was released in 1981.

The High Priest Sadinar places Damballa under the serpent god Set in an episode of Conan: The Adventurer. In the book “Pays Sans Chapeau”, Dany Laferriere talks about the character. In Shadow of the Panther, a Haitian stage illusionist named Damballa performs under this alias.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Damballa the god of?

Damballa is said to be the Sky Father and the primordial creator of all life, or the first thing created by Gran Met

Who is Damballa in Chucky?

In the “Child’s Play” franchise, including the “Chucky” TV show, Damballa is a powerful voodoo god. The iconic killer Chucky doll, voiced by Brad Dourif, is the assumed form of a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray. Just prior to his death, Ray conducts a ritual that begins with the chant, “Ade due Damballa. Give me the power, I beg of you.”

Who does Chucky pray to?

In the “Child’s Play” franchise, Chucky, the killer doll, prays to Damballa, a powerful voodoo god. He uses a chant that includes the name Damballa to transfer his soul and gain superhuman strength. However, it’s important to note that Damballa, in traditional Voodoo belief, is not associated with evil.

What is the origin of Voodoo?

Voodoo, also known as Vodou, is a traditional Afro-Haitian religion that represents a syncretism of the West African Vodun religion and Roman Catholicism. The word Vodou means “spirit” or “deity” in the Fon language of the African kingdom of Dahomey (now Benin).


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