The Republic of Haiti was created in 1804 by slaves who revolted against France. Modern Haitians are descended from generations of intermarriage between a variety of West African nations, with some influence from the French and the Taino Indians. Haitian cultural life is a rich mix of these influences, and the Voudou religion has become an effective synthesis of Christianity and West African beliefs.
Papa Loko is an old and respected Vodou spirit, originally worshiped by the Taino tribe, the natives of Haiti before the French arrived with their African slaves. He is the healing power connected to trees and leaves and is the father of all priests, male and female.