Visiting Togo’s Voodoo Market May Just Make You Lose Your Lunch

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Image: My 1st impressions

All around is the stuff of nightmares: grisly swathes of animal skins, severed heads with viciously sharp teeth, and stark white bones of all shapes and sizes. What’s more, even though their eyes have long since dried up, the dozens of skulls piled on tables seem to be staring menacingly whichever way you look. The odor of decaying tissue permeates the air, too, adding to the horror – and underlining the fact that this is only a place for those with very strong stomachs.

Voodoo Fetish Market, Lome, boy seller
Image: Paul Williams

Despite the gruesome reminders of death all around, though, this is also a place of hope. People flock here to find the right sets of bones, skin or heads that they can use to help rid them of their fiscal troubles or health afflictions. In fact, Togo’s Marché des Féticheurs is essentially one giant, macabre pharmacy.

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Image: My 1st impressions

This market like no other is to be found around 2.5 miles northeast of the center of Togo’s capital city, Lomé. Its unusual and gruesome wares, moreover, are used by locals as charms, fetishes and in general as provisions in the practice of voodoo.

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