The Mysterious Voodoo Communities Of Benin13 min read

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[Transcript]
welcome to the Ivory Coast in the Republic of Benin. This is the birthplace of Voodoo. This ancient religion has been part of the lives of the West African people for over 10,000 years.

Even though the majority of the population are Catholic, over 50 % of them practice voodoo in one way or another [ Music ], the rituals of Voodoo are mainly used to repel bad spirits and diseases. Voodoo is used for protection and healing, but it is believed that some people choose the path of witchcraft.

In order to do evil. I will soon become an apprentice to a very respected voodoo priest and I will take a look into both the bright and dark side of Buddha everywhere. I’m. Finally home. My mission is to learn everything I can about who decides who gets to live and who dies? [, Music, ] voodoo festival is held every January here to be named, all hoodoo followers nation will participate, show their devotion but, most importantly, to make the gods happy.


They guard the community. You want to give me cover sunbae. No, by joining their secret society, the person becomes a sign. You will no longer have the ability to speak any human language, magical powers and the ability to become invisible, and the report personally to the village chief of any wrongdoers.

These people, here at the beach to watch one of the Sun vetoes using his magical powers to walk on water, Jesus, [, Music, ], the ancestors control the living world and decide the fate of its people and communities.

Murder is all about doing good if the gods and spirits are happy, one can live a successful and healthy life, [ Music, ] official ceremonies. If the supernatural powers do not pay for you, it is believed that you will face misfortune.

You could become sick or even die. [ Music, ], [, Music ] behind me lies the residence of the area’s, most respected voodoo priest. Our van cha-cha and, from this moment on I’ll, be at his mercy. The 57 year old advantage’began studying voodoo at the age of five.

He has devoted his entire life to helping others. I am here to ask him to be my mentor. Hogman chair, worships, three gods, and he has three shrines in his home. They are channel the god of thunder ergo, the god of Hiram and Legba, who serves as the intermediary to the other side.


Unfortunately, pancetta is very reluctant to accept an outsider as an apprentice before I can begin to learn about voodoo. I have to cleanse myself so we’re, going to conduct a sacred ceremony, which is about purifying my soul and body in the rituals of Voodoo food and water are often offered to the gods of the spirits of the ancestors.

Because of this, animal sacrifices are very common. The blood flesh as suppose the sacrificed animals are gifts to the spirits, the others [ Music ]. They blew their jello cutoff no longer. If the gods and spirits of the forefathers are satisfied, they will reward you with health.

Good fortune and protection from all evil spirits – I’m just trying to keep this whole thing together, because I was light-years away from my comfort zone. We were sacrificing animals pouring alcohol and blood and milk a spit on the gods, and I’m holding the other chicken and the chicken’s.

Heart is beating faster and faster. I can feel it in my hand, and he’s, probably sensing. What’s going on with his friend over there. He knows his next pod bun JJ places the feathers of the sacrificed animal in my mouth as a sign that all gateways to the other side are now open.

I know that I’m part of something so much bigger than me and something that is so sacred to the whole community and to everybody here and been in. We’re doing this, because Buddha is all about doing good and good deeds make sure that good comes back to us.

You can see and feel the presence of Voodoo. Basically, everywhere you go and if an individual has some kind of problem trouble or sickness, they always turn to Ma ho. But in order to speak to ma who one must first summon the spirits of the ancestors and conduct sacrificial ceremonies to please the sub God that they worship and these will work as a gateway in order to talk to ma who and the symbolic meaning is to Exchange, the soul and body of an animal with the sick person that you’re trying to heal, so you’re, basically telling the gods.


Please take this coat and spare my child, even though the purification was successful, pancetta is still not satisfied. He feels one of the spirits of his ancestors resisting my acceptance as an apprentice.

Aguadilla doesn’t believe that I’m, capable of understanding photo. I can’t afford to make any mistakes [ Music ]. When I saw we did not understand one word of what I was just told, but this is my new room, and this is my new bed [ Laughter, ], [ Applause ], my mentor advantageous still won’t.

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Let me take part in any voodoo rituals, because he believes that the spirits of his ancestors do not accept an outsider. For two days straight. All I’ve, been good for is sweeping the yard today. Advantage’allows me to help him gather some herbs anyway, we live way.

Namah me woody, Tara, Tara, people, suppose it’d, be too long to tell Oh judge in Oklahoma. Ye herbs and plants play a very big role in voodoo, and this is a hot bunch of just garden where we collect all the necessities.

We need for our everyday potions. Welcome to dr. Ehrman’s laboratory. This is where I mix all my magic potions: okay, guys, this herb is used as an antibiotic or on the surface of the skin. If you have some allergies, this beautiful flower is used.

If you have a high fever, this herb, on the other hand, is used to bring good luck. You can put this in a perfume or eat it. I think I might need some of this back home. This herb is used to clean your liver or if you have B hepatitis, you could take the seeds from the flower and the leaves boil them in hot water and drink.

But you have to remember that mother earth is filled with herbs and plants that have healing power and there’s. Basically, nothing you cannot cure with voodoo at first. I thought one of these plants smelled strongly of alcohol like really old booze, but then I realized it.

Wasn’t the plant. It was a grunt JJ, my voodoo priest and of course it was hoppin ginger. He’s, a voodoo priest for crying out loud. They love alcohol, [, Music, ], [ Applause, ], [, Music ]. Today, for the first time I have been allowed to participate in hot bun judges work.

To celebrate this, I join a carnival passing through the village [ Music ], and this is the graduation party [ Music ]. This is the best party I’ve ever been to [ Music ] [, Music ]. I have helped a buncha to collect herbs for two days.

He seems happy with my work now I am given a new errand and I am sent into town to buy some materials for his rituals in here you can find snakes, monkeys, hippos, bats alligators. Basically, any animal you can ever imagine [ Music ].

This is a Python. It is a very sacred symbol in the religion of Voodoo and apparently it’s, not very fond of me because it’s. Hiding its head. Different fetishes have different meanings and I’ll. Take you through a few of them, for example, a monkey head.

A monkey is a powerful and intelligent animal. You can use this monkey to tie it on a talisman that will give you good luck, power and intelligence on your project, the crocodile symbolizes power you put this head on your family shrine, you make your wishes and you become powerful.

Then you have the chameleon. The chameleon is a good luck. Charm. You will grind this chameleon and mix it with the soap that you use to wash your body, and it will give you good luck. Okay, thank you.

I was just thinking to myself that I’ve, never seen so many dead animals in one place and then I realized I’m full of crap, because all I have to do is go to the closest supermarket and I’ll see just as many dead animals, even though my mentor advantage’has devoted his entire life to helping others.

There are still voodoo priests who use their powers for evil in these areas. There are also people who practice black magic and in black magic, where in voodoo you will use animal parts in black magic.

They will use human parts, so sometimes these graves are robbed and the human parts are dug out and sold in the black market. [ Music, ] Paul is advantages friend, and he knows much about voodoo priests who are involved in black magic.

It’s, a secret society here in which only the witches recognize themselves into themselves. Okay, nobody will know who the witch is. You can never know a wish, I could be a [ __ ] now and I’ll be doing bad with you, but you never know I think, becoming a which is those who which become which, because of jealousy yes, it was.

Maybe I built the house or I buy a car so because of this jealousy as you try to practices which power on you to destroy your good luck. What are some of the bad spells that a witch can put on you? You could make you sick, yes, and you can die yeah a lot of things that which can do it all is bad.

Yes, in the voodoo practice, you have to be good, you have to be friendly have to be. You know have to show your love to your neighbors if you want to live longer life and the rice, if you are doing good world, will punish you.

So if your friend of go do what will be our friend [ Music ] advantage & # 39. Is so satisfied with my work that he wants me to participate in a very important healing ritual? A local girl is extremely sick.

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Even one mistake in performing the ritual could make everything go wrong. I can’t. Take part in this ritual without the blessing of the gods and spirits, as such permission can be asked only through a voodoo Oracle.

That’s. The gotough Aaron is your protector. What our goals in the Oval God’s always protects you. The Oracles ritual is successful. I am now in the favor of the gods and allowed to take part in the healing ritual.

I must now bring the good news to my mentor advantage by someone [ Music ]. A buncha jet seems to trust me now, and he sends me to the market to buy the sacrificial animals [ Music ]. This has got to be one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever faced, because our voodoo priest, Ogburn JJ, has put me in charge of arranging a very large ceremony today.

I’m in charge of choosing the animals that will be used for the sacrifice. This is a very hard task for me because I’m, the one who decides who gets to live and who dies [, Music ]. Today it’s, this goat that gets to give its life to save the life of a sick.

Young girl, okay, let’s, see [ Music ]. The goat has decided to stay here on the side of the street eat some sand and watch traffic. [ Music, ] and I don’t have the art to drag them around [. Music ], the sick girl yoga has arrived to Hogben judge’s.

House Hisoka has been under a high fever for a long time where she has lost too much weight. Her family is afraid that the fever and sickness might kill her. I will assist advantages throughout the ritual and I can’t, make any mistakes, or else everything will go wrong.

This is the water that will be used to bathe the girl and purify her after the offering [ Music ] [ Music ], a person from the West animals are mainly food, so you go to the supermarket. You buy meat, you go home, you cook it with your friends and talk about how delicious the meat was, but you never actually think about the moment the animal was slaughtered, [, Music ].


I really hope this will cure the girl fact that these people strongly believe in this magic might actually make a difference, because you can never underestimate the power of the mind. The hardest part of the ceremony was to see the goat being thrown at the gods.

After the sacrifice, but but you have to understand that even that has a meaning – it has a sacred meaning to the priests to the whole community, because, whichever way the goats feet are going to point, are they’re going to point at the gaybar? They’re, going to point at the house.

This all has a meaning, and this will tell the priest where the gods satisfied with the sacrifice were: were they not happy with something and if he has to conduct another part of the ceremony again, they will do what is necessary to make the gods happy.

The ceremony is a success and I finally feel that I have earned my place as advantageous apprentice, [, Music, ], [, Music ]. My time in Benin is both my mentor advantage’and his guards have accepted me in their voodoo community.

In guru, the well-being of everyone is a priority, and that is why the entire village gathers to celebrate and pray for the girl on this journey. I have learned how important religion and a functional community is to the well-being of its members in voodoo.

It is extremely important to always do good, because the gods and the spirits follow your every move. They will reward you for being good, but they will also punish you for all your bad deeds celebrations.

They’re, just so full of joy. There’s, the drumming there’s, the music everybody’s, dancing, everybody’s, happy everywhere. You go they embrace you, they welcome you and they just want to be with you.

Come and join us and party with us and have fun and voodoo is all about doing good, all about believing in karma and and wanting to do good unto others, so that good will be done unto you. I just love this here.

If you ever come to Africa, it will steal your heart: [, Music, ], [, Music ], welcome to Katmandu. This is the capital of Nepal. In this episode, I will journey through mountains and valleys up to the Himalayas to a place where no roads go, and that place is the Forgotten kingdom of water.

My mission is to climb the Himalayas and go live with a yak herding family up in the mountains. The higher we go, the harder mr. Nair is getting thinner and thinner, and the axe are moving so much faster than I I know, god.

I really hope I don’t have to tell secrets very feels, like I’m dying, [ Music ]