The capital of Togo, Lomé, is the birthplace of the world's most important Voodoo market, a kind of super store for fetishes, charms, and anything you might need for a ritual. The Fetish Market of Akodessewa, or Marche des Feticheurs, may be a place where you can find anything from leopard heads and human skulls to priests of Vodou (voodoo) who bless and make fetishes or predict the longer term and make medicines to heal whatever you are suffering.
Although many of us regard Haiti as the biggest stronghold of Voodoo, the faith originated in West Africa. Vodoun is that neighboring Benin's official religion remains the most important religion within the area, which is evident as long as the location of the outdoor market is within the heart of the capital of Togo. However, the Beninese are the owners and travelers of the market.
For local practitioners, the Akodessewa Fetish Market may be a mecca and they travel there from everywhere on the African continent. The Marche des Feticheurs is seen by many believers as a kind of hospital or pharmacy. Once you have failed traditional treatment, it's the place you go. Talismans and charms are good for treating everything from the flu or infertility to removing the blackest of curses here.
Each single creature is powerful and divine in the practice of Voodoo, whether alive or dead. You'll find all the monkeys, alligators, goats, leopards, gazelles, and many, many more within the Akodessewa Fetish Market in different stages of decay and stacked up in macabre piles for blocks. The outdoor location doesn't completely suppress the stench, but outdoors is a minimum of the big market. It's a jarring place for tourists who, except for locals who practice the faith, are not willing to think of animal sacrifice as part of worship or use pieces of the dead as talismans. It's a jewel and a necessity.
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