Togo: Voodoo!

Voodoo, an animist religion based on the worship of spirits, is deeply embedded in West African culture, and particularly in Togo and Benin. The voodoo gods communicate with their priests, or fetishists, by possessing them and speaking through them. Voodoo priests also act as traditional herbalists, preparing various cures, potions and charms on the instructions of the spirits.

Deep in the countryside, in a remote village, Seko, we visit a voodoo temple and meet its priest. A young man, he was chosen by the spirits to be priest, the third generation in his family to have that honour. Interestingly, the spirits bypassed older, more erudite relatives to select him.

A wholesome and eager young man, he is fascinated with the boys who he believes to be twins, a powerful principle within the voodoo religion.

the priest surrounded by the “twins”
blessing our travels by invoking the spirit of the Twins
cigarette-smoking fetishes guard the entrance to the inner sanctum