Now this place looks like an adventure — of the oddity kind. The Akodessewa Fetish Market in Lomé, Togo, nicknamed “Africa’s Voodoo Supermarket”, is the location where a Voodoo practitioner can find anything and everything for his or her rituals.
Voodoo (known locally as Vodun) originated in West Africa and countries like Togo, Nigeria, and Ghana still actively practice the religion. The religion and its rituals have spread across the world, where the second most practiced non-Africa cluster is in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Akodessewa Fetish Market is lined with wooden tables filled with statues, herbs, and animal parts, and has an air of putridness from decaying flesh. It is not uncommon to find dog heads, monkey paws, jaguar skulls, or elephant feet among the various merchant stalls. All of these talismans are the basis of healing and protection, infused with the blessings of the divine.
Tourists are welcome to roam through the market and are even permitted to visit healers. If you should choose to visit with the healer for a treatment, you must first to describe your problem in detail. The healer will then speak with the Gods for a ritual to remedy your ailment. Once the prescription is determined, selected animal parts will be ground up with herbs and heated over the fire, producing a black powder. Then the healer will make three cuts in your chest and rub the black powder into your wound. And with that, your ailment is cured!
If you want to forgo the cuts to the chest, it is acceptable to just rub the powder on unbroken skin. However, I doubt that will be very effective.
No doubt about it, the Akodessewa Fetish Market in Lomé, Togo is the best place to stock up on all of your Voodoo ritual and healing needs.
Good grief, Amanda! Where did you hear about this one? I would think having that powder being rubbed into cuts on your chest would give you a worse ailment than the one you went there with…
I saw it on an oddities show last year. It has always intrigued me. Rubbing that into a fresh cut would have to burn!!
Since Africa is one of the places I’d like to visit someday, this sounds like a good place to start. It would be amazing just to hang out there and talk to the healers and the people who come. It also reminds me of some of the things I’ve heard about Lourdes. We all have our fetishes of one kind or another, don’t we.
Same here! I would love to just go and talk to the people. I find it all so fascinating and beautiful. What did you hear about Lourdes?
From what I’ve heard–and this is very 2nd and 3rd hand–Lourdes is packed with tourists–the curious, the skeptical, and people with various ailments who come hoping to be healed by the waters. There are also tons of shops catering to those groups, with relics, statues, and other religious souvenirs (including bottles to take the holy water back with you. Interesting that as I write this, “The Song of Bernadette” is playing on one of the TV stations. Have a great Thanksgiving! 🙂
I would expect to read about such a place in some of your fiction. This is creepy but you did a nice job with it.
It may make it in one day 😉
I have heard of this market. It is a scary place. There is a smaller version of it in Kenya, a place called Kitui, where they sell juju stuff in the open.
Once, in 1999, my classmates were discussing girls from that region. One guy told us of a certain man he knew who had married a woman from there and subjected her to frequent physical abuse. But one day she returned to her parents and they used their voodoo to make his penis grow on his forehead.
So he woke up in the morning and peed from his forehead!
I don’t know if it was a true story, but, hell, I had a good laugh!
I love your stories! Hmmm…. I wonder if this one is true. Pretty awesome if it were!
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