Everyone’s surely familiar with voodoo dolls, famous for their significant appearances in horror stories, yet these dolls are not just for sticking pins and bad luck.
Truth is, Voodoo, or can be called Vodou is an official religion in West Africa, specifically in Togo, Benin, and parts of Ghana, as well as Nigeria. Slaves carried it across the Atlantic and so variations of it were born in Haiti and Louisiana in the US, resulting in it becoming complex due to its vast geographical means.
It may have numerous forms, but one of its key characteristics is having a number of gods or spirits which represent different aspects in life such as love, crossroads, death and underworld, beauty, warrior, and creation. Vodou also involves ancestor worship, use of fetishes that can be animals, objects, or places, which people and spirits use for communication.
Voodoo isn’t fiction, and Benin would show anyone what really it is, here’s a list of places to go to Benin so you can explore and learn more about voodoos:
Ouidah is where the annual festival, with voodoos insight, happens every 10th of January. The festival draws followers who will transform into the god of their choice, and would even adopt their characteristics. There are also rituals, dancing, drinking, and drums beating all throughout the place.
2. Porto Novo
Influenced by French colonization, the lagoon-facing city is notable for its French houses in honey color. You can also find an unordinary building shaped like a huge haystack, the lodge of the god Zangbeto, who’s a traditional voodoo guardian.
3. Manikpe To Lapata
A temple for Voodoosis (followers) of Mami Wata, a mermaid-like water goddess who offers happiness and fortune to people who meet her at the seaside.
4. Ouidah’s Market
A market in the occult capital sells grotesque but ritualistic paraphernalia that is being used in ceremonies and Vodou. You would prefer to visit the market at night, as it is more attractive, especially because it is lit with beautiful candlelights.
Please note that this article is written for inspiration and a better future travel experience only. This does not mean we encourage our readers to travel during the pandemic. To someone who wishes to travel this time, we would recommend to our audience to please check and follow the Travel Advisories for your intended destination and choose the method that works best for you. Also, the details above may vary to change at any time.