The practice of voodoo began in West Africa, before being taken to America by slaves, and in countries like Togo, Ghana, or Nigeria the religion is very much alive.
Many people believe healers using animal parts and strange talismans can invoke spirits with their bizarre rituals, and solve their problems.
And if there’s one place where voodoo priests can stock up on their creepy supplies, it’s the Akodessewa Fetish Market, in Togo’s capital city, Lome. Just think of it as an outdoor pharmacy where various animal parts, bone statues and herbs take the place of conventional medicine.
Although from afar it might look like just a dusty deserted lot lined with wooden tables, as you approach and see the piles of heads, tails, skins and limbs of various animals, you realize you’ve arrived at Akodessewa Fetish Market. You’re soon greeted by the place’s voodoo chief who offers to give you a tour of the market, and before you know it you’re bargaining over an ape paw or a gazelle head. It’s a crazy place, and the people here know how to get under your skin and make you buy at least a souvenir. Voodoo merchants have products gathered from all over West Africa and no matter your problem they’re bound to have something for you. They claim they can help everybody in the world, and whenever someone has a problem and runs out of options they come to Akodessewa to look for solutions.
Even if you’re not into voodoo, the Akodessewa Fetish Market is one of those exotic attractions that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. If you don’t like animal heads staring at you, you can just check out the protective statues and talismans, or learn about the various herbs voodoo priests use. As the merchants say, there’s something here for everybody.