Voodoo originated in present day Benin. It is the country's official religion and well over 50% of the Beninese are practitioners. Voodoo is strongest in the southern portion of the country and is all but absent in the far north.
When witnessing a Voodoo ceremony it is REALLY important that you get permission to take pictures... at the very most, you wouldn't want to offend a supra-natural being!!
As a visitor, you will have to be invited by someone to the ceremony. Naturally, he or she is a good person to ask, and if they don't know, surely they can find one of the religious leaders (human) that will give you the okay (or otherwise). I only saw one ceremony, so I'm not sure how likely it is for you to get permission.
Notes on the photo itself:
The four *things* that you are looking at are called "revenants" in French. You might translate the word into "spirit" in English, but whereas we generally think of "spirits" as being invisible, these are entirely corporal... they have 'come back' from the hereafter. (whatever you do, DO NOT touch them!)
The lighting was poor at the ceremony & there was a lot of noise in the original photo. I've taken it out with a softener, which had the added benefit of creating a surreal mood to the photo.
Critiques | Translate
antho (412) 2007-10-19 2:37
I like the effect you gave very much, it sounds like it was the only way to "save" the picture but it really doesn't look like a desperate solution, the effect is beautiful and fits perfectly to the subject of the photo!
Very interesting picture, unfortunately I didn't have the chance to see such a ceremony when I was in Benin, so thanks for sharing it!
Liekje (574) 2007-11-20 10:06
The bad quility is a pity, but the note is very interesting. Nice to see you managed to experience this!
clic (13006) 2012-11-20 7:51
You added a touch of mystery to the Voodoo ceremony
that makes believe of "agitated" participants overwhelmed by a bad spirit!
I have the intense impression of a furtively-taken picture and it suits well to the puzzeling subject.
- Copyright: Caleb Ficner (kwekwekan) (866)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-01-26
- Categories: Ceremony
- Camera: Panasonic Lumix FX-01
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/30 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Benin, Un-forgotten
- Date Submitted: 2007-10-18 8:35