The Machete plays an important role in Voodoo ritual, magickally it is the emblem and the attribute of the Ogous, loas whose most prestigeous religious personification is St. James the Great. From this it necessarily follows that it is the Ougous who in the Voodoo tradition "ravish" transcendentally the ritual material.
The true name of the machete is Ku bha sah, a word that necessarily implies that "the greatest of the invisibles" (bah) "has slain or abolished" (kou, ku) "all that which is material, all that which is the depths or the abyss" (sah). In short, it may be said that the movements of the ritual flags in Voodoo are a magickal totality and summit. They encompass and epitomize Voodoo.
Because of the sword's action in abolishing the material substance, the bha sah portion of the word ku bha sah signifies "cutting" while the machete is the ritual epitome of the sacrificial knives. It is also called the Ogoughasah in that it is the counterpart of the staff of Ogoubhatalah. In Voodoo the machete represents traditionally the best work of the ironsmith, since in the Voodoo tradition, it is the mystere who works the iron (Ogou Fer) who reveals to men the secrets of Voodoo magick.
Actually this ritual sword should be engraved with geometric designs corroborating the basis of the physical and metaphysical architecture of the oumphor. These designs represent primarily the sun of Legba, the thunderstone or axe of Quebiesou, and the triangles, which recall the conical from of the drums. Part of the blade is serrated to represent the progress of ritual offerings, slain by the instrument of the Ogous, towards the celestial regions, which are their destination.
The machete or dagger of the Ogous represents the serpent DAn Bah Lah (Ga, Dan) in wrought iron (gou, ogou). For this reason, among the oracular signs of the magick alphabet the voodoo sign of the Ogous is gou da or ogou dan. The Machete is considered also to be the male organ of the mystere Quebiesou Dan Leh (the thunder) for Quebiesou is an acient Legba, one of the wiset of all the Legbas. This snake-weapon is therefore one of the most important factors in Voodoo.