Togo Voodoo Woohoo!

Trip Start Dec 12, 2010
Trip End Dec 16, 2012

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Flag of Togo  ,
Saturday, January 21, 2012

After travelling for over a year now, we have seen thousands of Catholics churches, Orthodox churches, mosques, kasbahs, fortress's and castles. It was time for something new and different. Well, we made it to Togo and we were struck with something different, Voodoo. Woo hoo!
As we arrived at Togo's capital city, we headed to the voodoo fetish market. We had seen fetish markets before in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana, but this was different. In Togo, voodoo was alive and we were interested to find out more about it.
On our guided tour of the Lome fetish market we were shown all the fetish animal remains of; vipers, cobras, chameleons, crocodiles, monkeys, baboons, bats, leopards, dogs, cats, goats, hyenas, warthogs, gazelles, lions, buffalos and even a gorilla foot. We were told that in the voodoo culture, the fetish animal remains are grinded with herbs and spices and put on the fire to form a powder, which is used for vaccines and sacrifices. They also use porcipine spines for ashma medication. This type of thing is not everyones piece of cake. But it was different, and we were in Togo and we were learning about voodoo, woo hoo.
We met the village chief and were told about different voodoo symbols and their powers. Charms for love, voodoo dolls for business and even voodoo statues for house protection. It was all interesting, woo hoo!
After purchasing some cool voodoo dolls as souvenirs, we headed to Vogan, the town with the biggest market in Togo. We saw more fetish items for sale, awesome produce, bright costumes that the locals were wearing, and awesome West African fabrics for sale. It was great!
As I have said before, we were in Togo, and Togo has voodoo, woo hoo. So off to Lake Togo. We paddled across the lake to Togoville the capital of the voodoo culture in Togo. As we crossed the lake, we were told that years ago the locals used voodoo powers to part the water. We were also told that the lake was sacred and that in the centre, we would need to visit the ancestor's house (no longer a house, but now just flags in middle of the lake). We needed to be blessed by the ancestors by giving a coin and getting it scraped on the paddle to gather soil. The lake's soil was then placed on our foreheads, and in the local language, we were blessed. This meant we would have a safe journey on the lake.
When we entered the village of Togoville. Straight away we came across voodoo shrines, woo hoo! These shrines are used for people to come with offerings and ask for wishes. We witnessed voodoo at the men's shrine as it had an offering of a chicken on it.
We entered a special place where we were able to meet the Supreme Chief of Voodoo in Togo, woo hoo. We had to take our tops off and put on local shirts, but I was allowed to tuck my bra into the skirt/dress, double woo hoo! The Supreme Chief was not what I expected, it was a she and she had her jugs out, not woo hoo trust me, as she was about seventy. She was very peaceful and was happy to answer any questions we had about voodoo. She even blessed us for safe travel.
While visiting the Supreme Chief, we were given shots of gin, woo hoo to voodoo! We even got to witness our fellow travellers when they got their fortunes told. This unsurprisingly involved more gin, but this time the gin was poured onto the doorway of the Chief's special spirit room as a sacrifice, what a waste!
Leaving the Supreme Chief, we were amazed by the interesting voodoo culture, woo hoo! We continued strolled through Togoville and visited more voodoo shrines. We still couldn't believe what an amazing experience we were having, and to think all we knew about voodoo was from the 'Child's Play' movies and other Hollywood trash. We will never forget that day, woo hoo, something so different.
Togo was a great start for us as far as the voodoo world goes and we leave Togo with lots of new information, understanding, experiences and interest in what is Togo, what is voodoo. And we leave with, of course, lots of woo hoos!
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