Quidah is the birthplace of Voodoo, so they say. Before I hit sub-sahara, I already heard so many things From Martine regarding the Black Magic in cameroon. she told me her family would hang Their Ancestor’s skulls in the living room and worship them. She found it really disturbing. However, after I visit Quidah, I found out Voodoo is more than Black Magic or Human Skull worshipping. It truly amazing to find out the meaning of it although I was pretty scared at the beginning:P
I was skeptical to take pictures in Ouidah because I remembered when I first arrivd Benin, I took photos of a market and all the women over there want to throw ROCKS at me!!! Then a police came and asked me to delete the photo because People who believe in Voodoo think taking photos of people will remove their seoul or spirit!! So, when I got to Ouidah, I want to visit some Voodoo museum to understand more about it.
The outside of most houses in benin are all decorated with Bas Reliefs!! The voodoo house I went to have Bas Reliefs of different Voodoo Gods. It was pretty unusual for me but I got used to it after a while.
I was told this mud hut was made with human blood and Voodoo people still do ceremony inside!
On Jan 10th every year, there will be a Voodoo festival which people will dress up and dance. I was told the brazilian Carnival was actually derived from Voodoo festival but with a mix of Catholic element inside!!!
Later on, a traveler went to visit the chief of that Voodoo house and got her blessing. You know me, I will never feel comfortable to do that, not to offend any religion by all mean!! The picture of the chief is right below:)
Next I went to the Museum of history. It used to be a slave trade house for the Portuguese so the building there is in Portuguese style. One thing that is different from the other slave trade center is—there is NO Slave Dungeon in here ~~
I learned a LOT of history of Benin and voodoo religion! For example, Benin king like to show off their power by chopping off his enemy’s head. The first Benin Flag was actually filled with Human heads to show off the king’s power!!! I also saw a Voodoo costumes which I was told it should be the costumes for the Rio carnival! This is because most of the Slave from Benin went to Cuba and Brasil! The slave bought their own religion and got mixed up with the catholic religion and that’s how the modern day Carnival came from in these days!!! All these information are SO NEW to me since I had been to Brasil and many Caribbean island but I still do not know their history and culture. But I do know that many Caribbean island people still practice Voodoo.
Above is the Impressive Door of No Return for the Slave! Unlike the other slave trade center, it’s a long walk from the Main Slave building to the ocean!!!
Above is the main entrance of the Museum(slave trade building)
The first African money was made with Shell!!
After this journey, I understand a lot better about the culture of both West africa, Caribbean and brasil! It’s really really important to me since I live in North America and do not know a thing about it!! But afterall Ouidah is a beautiful place with really nice beach. I need to get rid of the black magic in my head and relax! Cheers:)