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A Veve or Vévé (also spelled beybey and vever) is a religious symbol commonly used in voodoo. It acts as a "beacon" for the loa (also spelled lwa) - a type of spirit, and will serve as a loa's representation during rituals. In the past, it was believed that the veve was derived from the beliefs of the native Tainos, but more recent scholarship has demonstrated a close link between the veve and the cosmogram of the Kongo people.
According to Milo Rigaud's book, Secrets of Voodoo (c1969; City Lights, NY), "The veves represent figures of the astral forces... In the course of Voodoo ceremonies, the reproduction of the astral forces represented by the veves obliges the loas ... to descend to earth."
Every Loa has his or her own unique veve, although regional differences have led to different veves for the same loa in some cases. Sacrifices and offerings are usually placed upon them, with food and drink being most commonly used in the West.
A veve is usually drawn on the floor by strewing a powder-like substance, commonly cornmeal, wheat flour, bark, red brick powder, or gunpowder, though the material depends entirely upon the ritual. In Haitian Vodou, a mixture of cornmeal and wood ash is used.