As the largest voodoo market in the world, Akodessewa Fetish Market in Lomé, Togo may look like a haven for voodoo practitioners a bit creepy for the average tourist visiting it, but for the animal lover, or even the average tourist visiting it, it’s definitely gruesome.
Superstition by far overrules animal rights here. The severed crocodile heads, chimpanzee hands, cobras and bones, are actually all fetishes, or talismans: objects infused with the power of the divine that are used to heal and protect. They are often ground up and used to make powders and potions that are either ingested or applied to the body, with the hopes of to curing one’s ailments, or to gain potency, strength, or influence.
Voodoo is a widely practiced religion in many parts of Africa, particularly in Togo, Ghana, and Benin, where it is estimated that up to 30 million people in the region believe that the physical world and the unseen world are intertwined.
Of course, the sight of all those dead animals is sad, but it has to be noted that although animal sacrifice is natural and integral to the tradition of most voodoo communities, they take animal life with reverence, cook the meat and eat it.