In the Haitian Vodou religion and voodoo belief system , Papa Legba is one of the loa. Associated with the crossroads, he serves as an intermediary between man and the spirit world. Because of his gift of elocution, he is a being with strong influence over communication and speech. Believed to have originated in the kingdom of Dahomey, now Benin, Papa Legba is one of the best known figures in African spirituality. The practices of Vodun come from an indigenous belief system found in West Africa.
He may look creepy, but he's actually said to be a "fatherly" figure.
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Papa Legba’s Origins
In Haitian Vodou, he acts as an intermediary between gods and humans, as well as opening the road to the spirit world. He is the keeper of all roads, intersections, doors, locks, and gates. Legba is also the god of travel, opportunity, and luck. When a Haitian prepares for a long journey, they would plan their route in an attempt to avoid all crossroads, which Legba described as a very dangerous place for people because of the presence of sorcerers and evil spirits.
For that, there are loas , subservient spirits that act as intermediaries between Bondye and the human world. Perhaps the most important loa in Vodou tradition is Papa Legba. He is the gatekeeper between the human and spirit worlds, and no one can reach the spirits without Papa Legba acting as the intermediary. There is often intermingling between Roman Catholicism and Vodou, and as a result, Catholic traditions are often associated with Vodou beliefs. Bondye, the Supreme Create, is seen as God, and the loa are similar to saints. In this case, Papa Legba is most often considered a contemporary of St. Peter, who is the gatekeeper to Heaven.