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Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bokors in the religion of vodou are sorcerers or houngan (priests) for hire who are said to 'serve the loa with both hands', meaning that they can practice both dark magic and benevolent magic. Their black magic includes the creation of zombies[1] and the creation of 'ouangas', talismans that house spirits.[2]

The name Bokor can also refer to the leader of the Makaya division of Vodou (which originated in the Congo region) and Bokor also refers to the highest initiation rank in Dominican Vodou.

Description

Bokors are featured in many Haitian tales and are often associated with the creation of zombis by the use of a deadening brew or potion usually containing poison extracted from puffer fish. This potion makes the drinker appear to be dead and thus he is often buried; later, the bokor will return for the "corpse" and force it to do his bidding, such as manual labor. The "corpse" is often given deliriant drugs, mainly datura, which puts them in a detached, somewhat dreamlike state. Its state is likened to being mind controlled. The person is fully alive but in a state where they cannot control what they say or do; at this point, when the person has been "reanimated" from the grave, or at least is moving about working for the bokor, they can be termed "zombis." However, some zombi legends dispense with this more rational explanation, and have the bokor raise zombies from dead bodies whose souls have departed.[2]

Also, bokors are said to work with zombi/zombie astrals - souls or spirits which are captured in a fetish and made to enhance the Bokor's power.[2] Bokors normally work with Loas Baron Samedi, Kalfou, Legba and Simbi (snake loa) plus in some cases they are said to work with Grand Bois, the loa of the forest.

Bokors are similar to the "root workers" of voodoo and New Orleans voodoo. Some may be priests of a vodou house. Bokor are usually chosen from birth, those whom are believed to bear a great ashe (power). A Bokor can be, by Judeo-Christian terms, good or evil, though some sources consider him an evil version of a houngan.[1]

See also

  • Clairvius Narcisse, a Haitian alleged to have been kept in a zombie-like state by a bokor

References

  1. ^ a b Zombies (from 'Encyclopedia of Death and Dying' website, with added references there. Accessed 2008-06-15.)
  2. ^ a b c Report on Voodoo, from Self-Ascription Without Qualia: A Case-Study (PDF) - Chalmers, David J.; Department of Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz
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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Bokor National Park article)

From Wikitravel

Bokor National Park is in Cambodia.

Ruins of Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino

Understand

The main attraction in Bokor National Park is the old French hill station at 1,000m which can be visited as a day trip from Kampot or Sihanoukville.

History

Bokor Hill Station was built by the French in the 1920s to be used as a retreat from the heat of the plains, a pre-air conditionning strategy familiar in all of Asia.

Flora and fauna

Wild Elephant and Tiger.

Climate

Nice cool mountain air during the day but it can get cold at night so bring warm clothes when staying overnight.

      • CLOSED *** As of February 2008 the road up the hill is closed to traffic, possibly for 2 - 3 years, while a new road is constructed and a casino resort is built. 2 day treks up & down with an overnight stay can be arranged. Despite this, not only has the road now improved, access is still often available especially on or near major Khmer festivals.The only way to find out, is to ask in Kampot, as the situation can change from day to day.

Get in

The turn off to the park is located 8km from Kampot and 95km from Sihanoukville on National Route #3. The main entrance and park headquarters are about 1 km from the main road. From there it is another 32km uphill to reach the summit.

As of October 2008, the road to Bokor is officially closed due to ongoing reconstruction (or construction). Therefore independent access seems to be impossible. However, it is still possible to arrange a trip through local travel agents. Apparently there is some bribery of local officials involved. This is also the reason for a sharp increase in prices of such trips to ca. 40 USD per person (for a one-day trip in a 4WD).

Fees/Permits

20,000 riel (USD5) per person, payable at the park headquarters.

If you book through a tour agent it will now cost US$40, not US$10 as quoted by Lonely Planet and other guides. This is due to a recent sharp increase in the entrance fee for the park

Get around

The road up to the hill station is in terrible shape so prepare for a bumpy ride. It is possible to do the trip on a 125cc motor scooter but this is quite a back-breaking option. Large dirt bikes are also available for rent in Kampot which would be the better option for people that have experience riding them.

Alternatively rent a car or scooter with a driver. The locals know the road very well and will manage the trip to the top in about 2 hours.

See

Ruins of The Black Palace, Church, and Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino

Waterfall (only in the rainy season)

Fantastic views of the surrounding area.

Do

There are several walking tracks ranging in duration from 2 hours to 8 hours. Beware though that none of the tracks are currently maintained so it is best to hire a ranger for your own safety.

There is the visit to the Popokvil waterfalls. You can get there by car, followed by a short walk. While generally they tend not to have much water, this situation is augmented shortly after rain and during the monsoon.

Eat

Behind the Bokor Palace hotel, there is some stall set up that offer basic food and cold drink during the days.

Inside the Ranger Station, you are allow to cook some simple meal as long as you pay for the US$5 lodging. Do remember to bring your own food as buying from the ranger store offer limited and expensive option.

Sleep

The Ranger Station offer some simple dorm room for a price at US$5 per person. There is however 1 double bed room also.

Stay safe

Mines are not common but it is still advised you stay on existing paths.

Tigers are very rare but still avoid trekking into the bush at dusk and at night when they are most active.

Poachers hunt deep in the park, hire a ranger when trekking in these areas.

The park is huge with many trails which are not marked or maintained. Hire a ranger if you have any doubts about your route.

Get out

Only one way out. The same bad road you used going up.

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