Magic Voodoo in West Africa

Voodoo is identical to a small doll that is pierced by needles and considered magical. If in Europe or Asia it is not too widespread, in West Africa – especially Benin – this is a recognized belief and there is a special day.

Colorful party for the God

Prolonged parties and January spiritual ceremonies in the country of Benin, West Africa, are common. The voodoo deities are trusted and respected. Confidence recognized in the country even has its own holiday. In Benin, about 20 percent of the population adheres to Voodoo as a religion.

Contact with the gods

Typical of the voodoo festival are colorful dresses, jewelry and makeup. This is mostly used by priests as talismans. They are chosen to participate in secret rituals. After being chosen through a complicated process, they are considered to have undergone ‘initiation’ and are believed to be in contact with the gods.

Humility and respect

After the participants took part in the initiation – as seen in the photo in the village of Kpetekpa near the town of Abomey – the people knelt before them. This is a sign of humility and respect. The priests have a very special position in society.

Dancing and singing

Honor is rendered in Kpetekpa through the sacred tree. Its roots show as if this tree has long died, but always emits fresh green leaves. Therefore magical power is always associated with them. The tree, which stands at the center of this village, embodies the deity glorified by Voodoo: Zakpata.

A temple for kings on earth

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Residents built a small temple for the voodoo god Zakpata. The colors white, red and black symbolize God. Zakpata is often called the god of smallpox, but more often called the king of the earth. Because everything on earth is interconnected, Zakpata has a very important position in voodoo.

Every god has his duty

But if one sees a pile of bottles, cigarettes and candy like the voodoo priest brought in this coastal city of Ouidah, it is intended as an offering to the fertility goddess Mamiwata who is also popular in Benin. This ceremony is presented as a form of affection for women who want to be pacified with gifts.


Many people in Benin have their own talisman at home. Those who were wrapped in worry spoke with amulets and brought him small sacrifices. But this is also often a lucky charm. For example chicken frame in front of a house in Grand Popo is considered useful to protect them from evil forces and darkness.

Voodoo as dark power

Voodoo is seen by outsiders as an unpleasant dark force. On the contrary, his followers argue that whoever brings out evil things or forces, something bad will happen. There are ceremonies held with the intention to bring good luck. The priest is believed to provide protection when people travel and prevent accidents.

Questions for Oracles

Specific questions can be asked of Oracles. Oracles are so popular that they are often painted as pictures on the walls of houses. Some taboo questions can be asked. Oracles can also function as a substitute for ultrasound: Pregnant women ask him whether they will give birth to a baby boy or girl.

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Talk to the afterlife

For more complex questions, one can make contact to the afterlife. For example related to marriages or land sales, they believe they can consult with their deceased ancestors. The contact person, who in this conversation is hiding behind a curtain, is trying to establish a contact relationship. Whether this is true can still be a mystery.

Contact to the afterlife

After ‘conversation or establishing contact with the afterlife,’ the priest Kagodo showed himself. This round-faced and friendly woman is considered to have the ability to connect humans to the afterlife. But not free. For one session, usually Europeans are charged up to 60 euros. And if that doesn’t work, he suggests repeating the ritual.

Dry bird and animal skull

Voodoo is identical to countless accessories or amulets. One of the largest markets for voodoo accessories or equipment is in Lome, the capital of neighboring Togo. Starting from the skin of a lion, to the hippopotamus skull, or the long black and white thorns of the hedgehogs are here. This is obtained from hunting? “Of course not,” answered the seller.

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