1. Zanzan the Witchdoctor (Benin, West Africa)

    02:22

    from Cameron Karsten / Added

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    An interview with Zanzan as one of the most important witchdoctor’s in Benin. He worships the god Gambala, who drinks and smokes copious amount of liquor and cigarettes. While visiting Zanzan, individuals as far as Mali and Nigeria traveled to see him for everything from infertility to debts owed by friends. He is charismatic and boisterous, but generous in his knowledge and care for the community.

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    • Thron Priest (Benin, West Africa)

      03:37

      from Cameron Karsten / Added

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      A typical Thron ceremony in Cotonou, Benin with the head priest and his initiates. We stumbled upon this shrine while exploring Cotonou by foot. We heard the music and we followed. Thron is a god who protects against curses, poisons and witchcraft; one who is followed widely throughout Benin culture. At this particular temple, initiates dance, sing, and hold a service for Thron and his community.

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      • Houegbo Resurrection (Benin, West Africa)

        03:21

        from Cameron Karsten / Added

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        In a small village in central Benin, we stumbled upon a resurrection ceremony of a young woman who was struck dead 4 weeks prior to our arrival. According to an interview with the village priest, she had a child who died and never performed the ceremony that the gods advised her to properly bury her child. The earth god Sakpata thus took her life while working in the garden, only to be resurrected to a life as his with and devotee of Vodou. This resurrection, if performed correctly, will affirm her destiny. Being a secret society we had no access to the before and after processes of the woman’s body, and could not confirm whether or not she was alive. From locals and the village Vodou practitioners, she was successfully risen from the dead and now would spend days preparing her mind, body and spirit to be Sakpata’s wife and dedicated devotee of Vodou.

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        • Djagli Village (Benin, West Africa)

          02:54

          from Cameron Karsten / Added

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          The djagli and zangbetto celebrations in Gran Popo and Possotome showcase the energy and dance of Vodou tradition. People are out as a community celebrating while djagli (spirits transformed in birds to chase away evil witches) and zangbetto (the village guardians of the night) parade among the living. Here we venture into the infamous Kpossou Gayou village where it is believed black magic is so profound that we are threatened with our own dismemberment if we go. We’re greeted with smiles, history lessons, Vodou knowledge and plenty of coconuts.

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          • Dankoli Fetish (Benin, West Africa)

            01:53

            from Cameron Karsten / Added

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            Dankoli fetish is known as the strongest fetish in all of Africa, allowing Vodou followers to directly communicate with the gods without the medium of a priest. At this roadside shrine, initiates come with wishes and prayers and after a ritual of pounding a peg into the mound, pouring palm oil and spitting gin, they make their prayers, give an offering and promise a return for ritual sacrifice if one’s wishes are answered. The mound is built over two dead tree stumps and now contains countless eroded wooden pegs covered in grease, blood, alcohol and feathers.

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            • Allada Vodou Ceremonies (Benin, West Africa)

              01:52

              from Cameron Karsten / Added

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              On January 9th the Vodou celebrations begin with a huge ceremony held in Allada where the King of all Beninese Kings rules over his district. Away from the tourist attractions of Ouidah, Allada is the locals’ festival where they dance among the throngs of bells and conga drums. Spirits come out as djaglis and zangbettos, and each attendant is adorned in colorful folds of fabric festooned with cowrie shell necklaces and plastic beads.

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              • Akodessewa Fetish Market (Togo, West Africa)

                01:25

                from Cameron Karsten / Added

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                A fetish in Vodou is a powerful tool, a magic ingredient, and a witchdoctor’s answer to the spiritual, which allows him to communicate with the gods and deliver their healing powers. At the Akodessewa Fetish Market in Lome, Togo, there are wooden tables lined with whale vertebrae bones, live baby crocodiles in yellow plastic jerry cans, stacks of dried herbs, cages of mice, frightened turtles, boxes of dried chameleons, enormous mummified cockroaches, shelves of stacked monkey skulls, decapitated wild dog heads with jaws open as if frozen in time, hippopotamus skulls, antlers four feet tall, snake skins, baboon, hyena and leopard heads, as well as one single gorilla’s foot. Each ingredient has a purpose, and mixed into a concoction can create a powerful cure surpassing the chemical industries of the modern world. This is the Vodou culture’s pharmaceutical lab.

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                • Tiga Jean Baptiste "Djawento" (Official Music Video)

                  03:29

                  from Theo.Dora / Added

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                  Directed and photographed by Mano Alexandre (Mano Films) Edited by Theo.Dora (Blap Blap Media) Location: Tiginen, Haiti, Souvenance Mystique, Haiti www.tigajeanbaptiste.com

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                  • Tiga Jean Baptiste "DJAWENTO" [ Official Music Video-2015]

                    03:29

                    from manofilms / Added

                    48 Plays / / 0 Comments

                    Tiga Jean Baptiste "DJAWENTO" tigajeanbaptiste.com Directed & Photographed by Mano Alexandre Jr.(ManoFilms) Edited by Theo.Dora (Blap Blap Media) Shot in: Tiginen, Haiti & Lakou Souvenance, Haiti

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                    • Adam Dollar$ & Kinfolk Collective present "Spark It Off: A Kinfolk Manifesto on the Nature of Black Art"

                      03:49

                      from Kinfolk Collective / Added

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                      Vodou, now caricatured in western literature and cinema, played an essential role in the Haitian Revolution providing black slaves spiritual sustenance and strength to fight. Today in the US, Black art acts as modern day Vodou. http://adamdollars.bandcamp.com/releases https://thekinfolkcollective.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/spark-it-off-for-amiri/

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