When a God is angry in African traditional religion it is because an ancestor did not make restitution for a crime and the God must be appeased. Amongst the Ewe people of southeast Ghana, female relatives of the ancestor who committed the crime are brought to the shrine to reconcile with the angry God and become fiashidi, which in the Ewe language means, "wife of the god."
Evangelical organizations say the fiashidi are slaves of the shrine and lead an international campaign to liberate and rehabilitate the females. African religion traditionalists consider the fiashidi queens of the town and believe the liberation campaign is a ploy to eradicate African traditional religion.
There is a growing Evangelical Christian movement through Africa which is destroying traditional religion. The town of Klikor is an example of a people holding onto the beliefs of their ancestors despite local and international pressure to change. I lived in Klikor in search of what it meant to be a wife of the God: are these women slaves to the shrine or queens of the town?
Produced for Blakhud Research Centre, Ghana.
Runner up for Magnum’s Inge Morath Award, 2005. To view the still images go to: danaromanoff.com.