Attitogon Travel Guide

  • Attitogon
    by grets
  • Attitogon
    by grets
  • Attitogon
    by grets

Attitogon Things to Do

  • The chief and the Priest

    The chief is seated by the side of the clearing in which the dancing takes place. Next to him is the fetish (or vodoun) priest. As part of the ritual, the faithful will greet the priest, partly to show respect, and partly to ask for favours, advice, treatment of illnesses, spiritual guidance or help with their problems. The priest will, through...

    more
  • More misconceptions

    There are also an awful lot of misconceptions that vodoun originated in Haiti. Yes, it is the state religion in Haiti, but it was brought there by the slaves from West Africa during the French colonial time. I was quite perturbed to find that most web sites I found were devoted to vodoun in Haiti, in fact some did not even mention West Africa, when...

    more
  • Where are all the men?

    Most of the dancing was done by women. A couple of hours into the ritual, a couple of young lads did get up to join and, much to the approval of everyone present. There was much cheering and clapping and they seemed to be rather embarrassed by all the attention. They didn’t last very long though, and soon went to sit down again, leaving the dance...

    more
  • Comparisons

    There are a lot of similarities between Vodoun and Christianity, as well as other world religions. Followers believe that the Vodoun universe was created by a Supreme Being, the Grand Met, but as he has now finished his work, he has moved on the other worlds to do similar work there. He is not actively worshipped. The Vodoun religion is headed up...

    more
  • The chorus

    Chanting is an integral part of a Vodoun ceremony. The chorus is made up of a group of people, usually led by a strong spiritual woman. The idea of the chanting is to attract the Loa on the astral plane in order to attract them down to earth.

    more
  • The musicians

    A group of special people will provide the ‘music’ in the form of shaking rattles and playing drums. Three drums, covered with ox-hide, provide the rhythm. They represent the three atmospheres of the sun: the largest represents the chromospheres, the middle one the photosphere, and the smallest one the solar nucleus. The instruments will have to be...

    more
  • Amazing control

    I was amazed at the spatial awareness of the dancers, even when in trance. Not once did they collide with each other, and even whilst thrashing about, and appearing to be totally out of control, did they actually hit pr land on the audience. A few came worryingly close to where we were sitting, but they seemed to be able to miraculously stop within...

    more
  • Drinking

    Often the dancers would come back out of the shrine, drinking from a hollowed out gourd. This could either be homemade alcohol (there seemed to be an awful lot of that going around), or blood from a sacrificed chicken or goat. By drinking the blood whilst possessed by the Loa, it is believed that the Loa’s hunger is satisfied. After the sacrifice...

    more
  • Never lose your bottle

    Probably the most frightening of all the incidents during the dance, was the woman who came out dancing with an empty beer bottle in each hand. For a while she would just dance around waving her hands in the air, but as she became possessed by the Loa, she gleefully slapped her hands together, smashing the bottles in the process. She then proceeded...

    more
  • Dancing with baby

    I personally found it quite scary to watch a dancer becoming possessed by a Loa or spirit. I was afraid for many reasons. Frightened they might hurt themselves or others, nervous of what they might do whilst they were not in control of their own bodies and mind. Worried that they were not going to ‘snap out of it’ and be able to escape from the...

    more
  • Possession

    Dancing is an expression of spirituality. It is seen as a connection with divinity and the sprit world. The dancing and drumming intensifies repeatedly and repetitively until the dancer is possessed by their Loa, by which stage they appear to completely lose control of their body and some even appear to lose consciousness. Their limbs go stiff,...

    more
  • The Big Guardian Angel

    Vodoun devotees believe that everyone has a soul which is made up of two parts: a gros bon ange or "big guardian angel", and a ti bon ange or "little guardian angel". The ‘little angel’ is the one that leaves the body when the Loa possess the dancers during a ritual. This is basically what happens when a dancer goes into a trance, and I found it...

    more
  • The Loa

    There are hundreds of different spirits or ‘Loa’ in the vodoun religion, and just like any other religion, each person has their favourite spirit that they worship. It was explained to us that during the dance, different music (drumming) is played for different sprits, and when you hear the tune associated with ‘your’ spirit, you get up and dance....

    more
  • Communications

    The purpose of ritual or service is to communicate with the spirits or Loa. Before the dancing takes place, offerings are made to appease the spirits, in the form of chickens, blood, food and other gifts. The Loa and the humans belong to each other and are interdependent – the humans supply food the Loa provides protection from evil spirits, health...

    more
  • The spread of Vodoun

    Vodoun is a religion that can trace its roots back at least 6,000 years; some sources claim 10,000. It is freely practised in West Africa, and was in fact accepted as the state religion of Benin in 1996 where 80% of the population is followers. It is believed that over 60 million people practise vodoun worldwide, 30 million of which are thought to...

    more
  • The origin of Vodoun

    Vodoun as a religion is said to have started in Benin, at a time of particular hardship during the reign of King Agadja. It is said that the rivers were boiling and the rains ceased and worse of all, everything was topsy-turvy, with women giving birth to goats and vice versa. One disaster after another meant that they were all at their wits end,...

    more
  • Popular misconceptions

    The occult has always fascinated me, and voodoo is no exception. In fact voodoo is one of the most misunderstood religions in the world, something I became more and more aware of as I did my research on the net. Voodoo is in fact a bastardisation by Hollywood of the word vodoun, the original West African religion (also known as vodun). (One...

    more
  • Follow protocol

    As soon as we arrived in the village, a clearing was made in the throngs of the spectators and benches brought out for us to sit on. The ceremony was already in full swing. We took time to greet the chief as is customary in this part of the world, before asking permission to take photographs. This was granted and we settled down to watch this...

    more

Instant Answers: Attitogon

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

67 travelers online now

Comments

Attitogon Travel Guide
Map of Attitogon

View all Attitogon hotels