Blog/Blog 2018 5 maggio 2018

In cerca del vudù in Benin e Togo, Africa Occidentale

Rientrato da qualche giorno dall’Africa Occidentale dove ho “guidato” un gruppo di appassionati fotografi, in giro per il Togo, ma soprattutto il Benin, alla ricerca delle cerimonie voodoo più intriganti e fotogeniche. Non abbiamo visto, però, solo cerimonie legate al voodoo, o vudù, come si scrive in italiano. Ci siamo fermati in molti villaggi, entrando in contatto con la la popolazione locale, in genere non molto ben disposta verso la macchina fotografica, seppur non “chiusi” totalmente, come in altri paesi, in genere musulmani. Qui in Benin, e Togo, pur essendo principalmente animisti, non hanno un buon rapporto con chi scatta foto, se non dopo qualche “regalino”. In particolare nel villaggio di palafitte di Ganvie, abbiamo riscontrato i problemi più grandi a riprendere le persone intente nelle normali attività quotidiane, attività in genere legate alla pesca. Se non la pesca direttamente. Il Benin è la patria del vudù e anzi ne è la religione ufficiale. Qui nasce il vudù, le sue cerimonie, i suoi sacerdoti nonché le sue liturgie. Abbiamo assistito a diverse cerimonie, tutte incentrate su grandi maschere sotto le quali si muovevano gli “iniziati” cioè i sacerdoti della religione. Maschere Egun, Zangbeto, tutte maschere rituali con lo scopo di attirare su di sé i cattivi spiriti che possono arrecare danno al villaggio. Una parola per ringraziare chi ha fornito, dall’Italia, il supporto logistico in loco, “I viaggi di Maurizio Levi”. Ringrazio anche la nostra guida locale, Yaya e il nostro autista, Sam che ci hanno permesso di attraversare luoghi, momenti ed esperienze di vita in tutta sicurezza e con professionalità. Le immagini qui sotto sono solo una piccola parte del racconto di questo viaggio

Benin, crossing the border with Togo

 

Benin, Abomey, selling cheap smuggled gasoline imported from Nigeria is a common view

 

Benin, Abomey

 

Benin – life in the the village of Ganhoua

 

Benin – Village of Ave, near Dassa

 

Benin – Village of Ave, near Dassa

 

Benin – Village of Ave, near Dassa, a manioca mill

 

Benin – Village of Ave, near Dassa – coiffeure

 

Benin – Village of Ave, near Dassa

 

Benin – Village of Adzaka

 

Benin – Village of Minifi, near Dassa. Voodoo ceremony of Egun masks. Egun masks represent the spirits of the deceased and according to the locals they “are” the deceased. The men wearing the masks representing Egun are initiates of the cult.

 

Benin – Village of Minifi, near Dassa. Voodoo ceremony of Egun masks. Egun masks represent the spirits of the deceased and according to the locals they “are” the deceased. The men wearing the masks representing Egun are initiates of the cult.

 

Benin – in the village of Hounkpogon, a local school

 

Benin – in the village of Hounkpogon, a local school

 

Benin – Bohicon, the central market

 

Benin – Bohicon, the central market

 

Benin – Bohicon, the central market

 

Benin – Bohicon, the central market

 

Benin – life in the the village of Ganhoua

 

Benin – in the village of Ganhoua

 

Benin – in the village of Ganhoua is taking place the Guelede, the dance of the masks

 

Benin – in the village of Ganhoua  – a fisherman and his family

 

Benin – the imbarcadero at Calavi, the village where to board the boat to Ganvie, also known as the Venice of Africa, which is a village built on stilts, on Lake Nokoue

 

Benin – the imbarcadero at Calavi, the village where to board the boat to Ganvie, also known as the Venice of Africa, which is a village built on stilts, on Lake Nokoue

 

Benin – the imbarcadero at Calavi, the village where to board the boat to Ganvie, also known as the Venice of Africa, which is a village built on stilts, on Lake Nokoue

 

Benin – The village of Ganvie, also known as the Venice of Africa, is a village built on stilts, on Lake Nokoue

 

Benin – The village of Ganvie, also known as the Venice of Africa, is a village built on stilts, on Lake Nokoue

 

Benin – The village of Ganvie, also known as the Venice of Africa, is a village built on stilts, on Lake Nokoue

 

Ouidah, a coastal city. Inside the Ouidah’s christian basilica

 

Ouidah, a coastal city. Here some images taken in a nearby village

 

Ouidah, a coastal city. On the ocean

 

Benin, Ouidah – near the city is held, in a local premises, a cerimony of the Celestial Church of Christ. This is an African Initiated Church founded by Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa on 29 September 1947 in Porto-Novo, Benin. It is mainly located in Africa and in the Afro-descendant communities in the world, particularly in Benin and Nigeria

 

Benin, Ouidah – near the city is held, in a local premises, a cerimony of the Celestial Church of Christ. This is an African Initiated Church founded by Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa on 29 September 1947 in Porto-Novo, Benin. It is mainly located in Africa and in the Afro-descendant communities in the world, particularly in Benin and Nigeria

 

Benin, Ouidah – villages along the shores of Mono river

 

Benin, Ouidah – villages along the shores of Mono river

 

Togo, the village of Aneho where all the big fishing boats going to the ocean, are moored

 

Togo, Amenoudzi village. Here, a voodoo ceremony called Zapata

 

Togo, street life on the way to Amenoudzi village.

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