Voodoo originally began in the south of Togo and Benin and it is still the religion that is most firmly embedded in the local culture: the proof is in the presence everywhere of temples, altars and fetishes. In the village, whenever there is a special occasion, the faithful initiated, often more than a hundred people, meet together and offer collective praises and, once the propitious sacrifices are made on the altars of the gods and divinities, the dancing begins.

The fetishists sit beside the fetishes; the chanting of the women accompanies the rhythm of the tam-tam drums which then becomes more and more frenzied – some participants fall into a deep trance: on a physical level they are in fact in a catatonic state, with very strong muscular tension and an insensitivity to pain. During their trances, in this very unique state of altered consciousness, the participants come into direct communion with the spirits.


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