Yêke Yêke Voodoo Festival in Glidji, Togo

White Mami Watas

Me, Rea-Liina Brunou and Marjo Räsänen got our first touch with the West-African voodoo ceremonies at the annual festival of the Gé-people in the village of Glidji, Togo.

The followers of the voodoo god of the sea Mami-Wata gathered there in the mid-September in order to find out how the becoming year is going to be. In the eve of the festival the voodoo priests got to a forest and looked for a sacred stone there. The next day the stone was brought to ceremony place where all the supporters and guests were waiting. The colour of the stone tells how the year is to treat us: the lighter the colour, the better the year is going to be. For the Mami-Watas, the white colour has special significance and everyone was dressed up in white (us included). In the blazing sunlight the sea of white dresses was dazzling.

This year there was disagreement among the priests of different sects about who among them was the honoured one to carry the sacred piece of Earth to the ceremony place. The dissatisfied party started to rebel. In the midst of everyone waiting for the stone to arrive – out of the blue – big (non-holy) stones started to fall from the sky to the audience who were trying to defend themselves by using chairs as a shield. The situation turned into a small chaos as people were running in all directions. Fortunately the conflict got soon settled and a white shiny stone found its way to the ceremony place promising the best possible for this year!

Boy at the Vodun Priest

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