Image: Anthony Pappone
Animist priest in the “Cave of the Sacrifices”, Tengzug
Voodoo, also known as Vodun, Vudun and Voudou, is followed in West African coastal countries like Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana. The religion’s origins are a mystery, but researchers believe it probably developed from older animistic and ancestor worship. Ironically, it’s thought that the slave trade, which forced Africans of diverse backgrounds together in strange unfamiliar territory, actually strengthened Voodoo’s traditions. And the mixing of these different customs and religious practices is reckoned to have led to Voodoo in the form it takes today.