African Voodoo


African voodoo, also known as vodun, vodon, vodoun, vodou, and voudou is a religion practiced by the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo, the Kabye people of Togo and Benin, as well as some of the people of Nigeria. The word vodun means spirit, and voodoo is a religion that centers around a hierarchy of spirits and elements that govern the earth, and includes a significant amount of ancestor worship. Vodun tends to be matriarchal, with each family of spirits having a female priesthood that can even be passed down from mother to daughter.  You can read more about voodoo and African Voodoo here:

African Voodoo Rituals

African voodoo is a religion based on oral traditions; god names and rituals may change depending on which region or even generation is using it at the time, but there are some staple components of voodoo that they will all share. They will all worship their ancestors, use rituals and objects as methods of obtaining magical protection, animal sacrifices will be used to to show respect, give thanks, or gain favor, fetishes will be made and used to collect the essence of spirits, there will be ceremonial dances with costumes, masks, music and drums, they will perform acts of divination using items like seeds to determine what they should do, and certain colors, foods and plants will have an association with a particular loa and used to pay tribute to that loa.

Western African Voodoo in Cultures

Voodoo is an integral part of the society of West African cultures and because it is matriarchal in nature it gives women of a certain lineage power and prestige in their villages. Queen mothers lead all religious ceremonies, run and organize the markets and other important duties. Likewise, the high priestess is a woman and in charge of establishing order and handling worship in their convent.

Modern perception of Voodoo is based on it’s tangential relationship with another African religion called Bò. Bò is an occultic science, not a religion, and it is this part of African heritage where some of the more frightening ideas come from. While voodoo is not Bò, many voodoo priests and priestesses have a good understanding of it. The magic of Bò is that of curses and harmful spells, and voodoo priests and priestesses believe the best way to counter a spell is to know how it is created and used. Many people believe that, because there are elements of Vodun in Bò rituals, foreigners who had not been exposed much to either simply lumped the two together in a sensationalization of African religions and compared them falsely to European understandings of witchcraft. Furthermore, as African peoples were brought out of African and into the European colonies through slavery, slave-holding countries attempted to exterminate native religions by forcing conversions to Christianity. This led to cultures, particularly those in places like the Caribbean, creating a hybrid religion of Vodun mixed with Catholicism.

Voodoo Zombie

Even the dreaded voodoo zombie is not, actually, a part of voodoo. Instead it is based on Bò and was believed to be created by Haitian bokors who were believed to bring people back from the dead and control them as a punishment.


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