Benin: the small West African, francophone country nestled between Togo and Nigeria is commonly known as the 'birthplace of Vodun', or more commonly known throughout the rest of the world as the birthplace of Voodoo.
Vodun is the state religion of Benin and is regularly practiced by approximately 40% of the population. The religion is based on 'Vodun' spirits, the cult of ancestry and various other divine elements that govern the Earth, and ritualistic practices are at the centre of the religion, more of which you can read about here.
The practices of Voodoo have been the subject of curiosity to outsiders for centuries, and continue to remain so to this day; especially when it comes to Vodun's use of earthly and deceased objects within mysterious and often macabre-sounding rituals. It is important to acknowledge, however, that voodoo is not the practice of witchcraft, which is a common misconception across the Western world - often mistaken for Bò; an occult practice in West Africa linked to spells and sorcery.
Picfair photographer, Eric Lafforgue, has created an extraordinary body of work on the practice of Vodun on this travels to Benin. As always at Picfair, we are truly proud to champion photography of the unusual and unique, and to pique your curiosity, we have selected 24 of our favourite and most arresting Vodun photographs from Eric's extensive series.
The Dark Secrets of Voodoo in Benin
BBC -The Reality of Benin Voodoo