Haitian culture attaches great importance to voodoo beliefs. These beliefs result from a combination of elements whose origins are found in the ancient kingdom of Dahomey in Western Africa. They were taken from several other religions shared during the period of slavery. Often compared to sorcery because of the importance given to the supernatural, voodoo actually refers to all of the gods and invisible forces which the Haitians reach out to for protection and goodwill. François Duvalier, called Papa Doc, was the president of the island from 1957 until 1971 and used voodoo as a way to influence the people. Voodoo beliefs are also expressed in many forms of Haitian art, like painting, artisanry, music and carnival: the most popular one being that of Jacmel, a very important traditional event for the Haitians.