Akodessewa Fetish Market in Lome’, Togo

Travelers to the West African nation of Togo on the Gulf of Guinea enjoy wandering the palm-lined beaches and scenic hilltop villages. The settlement of Koutammakou is inhabilted by the Batammariba people. The village appears traditional with fortress like clay huts. This thriving capital Lome’ could draw fans of the truly grotesque. The world’s largest voodoo market.

The multistory Grand Marche’ Bazaar and the Fetish Market dates back to the 17th Century. While offering traditional talismans and remedies relating to the vodun (voodoo) religion there is also a boundless supply of unsettling stuff. Crazy-eyed voodoo ladies sell dubious ‘magic and all the fancy fixings of a good old ritualistic animal sacrifice.

The market does smell they say. Really, really, really, nasty. Dead or alive, here you may find it all.  Monkeys, alligators, goats, leopards, gazelles in various stages of decay stacked up in grisly block like piles. This could prove a disturbing site for tourists not used to the idea of a religion that uses animal sacrifice as part of worship.

Open 8:30 to 6:00pm it is 2 ½ miles from city center. Easily accessed by taxi or taxi-moto. There is a fee for taking photos. For locals this religion is a treasure and necessity and should be treated as so. Who knows, you may find the charms needed for treating infertility, various physical ailments, and those to remove even the blackest of curses.

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Leslie Strowbridge

Leslie Strowbridge

I am an avid traveler and my journeys have taken me around the world. I am always looking to find the hidden gems of a destination and I tend to lead myself off the beaten path. A few of my adventures have taken me swimming in the Dead Sea, standing at the equator, cruising on Ha Long Bay, climbing to the Monastery in Petra and glamping in the Arabian Desert. Where to next?
Leslie Strowbridge

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