Culture May 18, 2018 at 02:02 am

Fetish or not, these traditional African religions stood the test of time

Farida Dawkins | Contributor

Farida Dawkins May 18, 2018 at 02:02 am

May 18, 2018 at 02:02 am | Culture


Known as Vodon, Voudou, Vodou, Vodoun or Voodoo, it is a religion practiced in southern and central Togo, Ghana, Nigeria and Benin.

The word Vodun means “spirit” in Ewe and Fon.

Voodoo highlights the spirits and other aspects of divine essences that those who practice believe oversee the earth.  This can appear in bodies of water, trees, rocks and clan or tribe members with powerful titles.

Certain rituals, songs and languages are followed and performed for various reasons.

The prominent figures are Mawu or Mahu the divine creator who rules over all Gods and according to some bore seven children; Bondye – the good God responsible for formulating the universe, humans, minerals, vegetation and animals; Lisa a male who is a sun God; and Mawu the sun God.

Other deities include the priestess who is assigned by an oracle to care for her community. Legba is the male version of Mawu; often shown as a phallus or in a male figure with a protuberant phallus.  Azaka directs agriculture. Erzuli supervises love. Ogun is the director of defense and war.

Herbal remedies are used and so are talismans or objects. These objects can be derived from animals or humans and are thought to contain spirits; they are used for healing and spiritual purposes.

In the diaspora, Voodoo is practised in Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Louisiana and the Dominican Republic.


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