For a decade now, I had witnessed almost all the Vodou ceremonies regarding annual commemoration of Vodoo festival that takes place every tenth of January. Those who had migrated to Benin and witnessed this event in the past should count themselves lucky. Lucky because they had received blessings from number of Vodou spirits present during the ceremonies.
As a preacher, I admire those who are driven by curiosity to deepen their knowledge and discover more about Vodou and I am ready to dish out some secrets holding aloft our religion in exchange for a transparent bottled liquid, not trying to sell my religion but transparent oblige as in other religions.
This year’s celebration was stuffed with colorful activities enrolled in different performances involving all Fetish priests and Priestesses followed by adepts of Heviosso, Mamiwata, Tron-Kpetodeka Zangbeto, Sakpate, Age-vodou etc who converged at Gbecon, Grand-Popo to demonstrate their fidelity and attachment to Vodou religion. A great multitude defied the heat, struggled to witness a five hour procession through sandy couloirs between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mono River. All started with the sacrifice of a goat to all the vodou spirits by a famous fetish priest from Gbecon.
A beautiful scene that attracted the attention of the crowd for a while was a fleet of canoes that transported beautifully dressed Mami Wata adepts across the river from Hève. The men aboard responded rhythmically, with their bodies and paddles to chants from adepts, unified their movements and ferried all to their destination; “PLACE DE VODOU”.
Interesting performances during the procession were so mysterious that visitors, new to such occasions bombarded me with questions to which I was unable to answer publicly. More questions without answers rained lot of doubts in the minds of numerous visitors who adventured for the first time to Grand-Popo and Ouidah. The departure of the supreme head of Benin’s Vodou religion DAGNRON GUEDENGUE signified the end of 10th January vodou day celebration. People got dispersed into their respective communities for a big feast mostly organized by Chief Fetish Priests for adepts and friends.
Villa Karo hosted a group of important Vodou personalities who took refuge in Lissa-Gbassa to avoid being drowned by admirers. A delicious dakoin served with barracuda accompanied by some centiliters of unidentified transparent hot stuff proclaimed the end of an interesting afternoon.
NB: I am creating a special platform for Questions and Answers for vodou in the near future. A Bientôt
2.2.2012: and here it is!