Benin was the centrepoint of this trip, specifically the Ouidah Voodoo Festival which is a National Holiday on 10th January. It’s a big celebration that sees all the voodoo chiefs and adherents, parading and celebrating. It’s less organised than you might think and much of the fun is chancing upon events as you move around the town. The picture below represents a spirit of ancestors who come back with wise words for you. However it is extremely bad for them to touch you so there is a lot of chasing and falling over. Such fun.

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Ganvie town, near the capital, boasts a large number of floating villages where people live all year round rarely setting foot on dry land. Very picturesque and home to 120,000 people. Every type of business is conducted by canoe. there are small islands where churches and mosques have been built but these will also be underwater in the wet season. 

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The most important fetish (place of voodoo worship) is pictured below. Not much to look at but it is where you seek to sort out your life, and make your wishes.  If they are granted you must return with the sacrifice you promised to the fetish. Below you can see that someone had returned just before we got there to sacrifice 2 cows. Must have been a big wish…

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See more Benin here

© Paul Hyland 2012