FYI logo

Akodessawa Fetish Market: Delving into the World of Voodoo in Togo

Navigating the Aromas and Atmosphere of Akodessawa Fetish Market

By aly suhailPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Akodessawa Fetish Market sourced from

The Akodessawa Fetish Market, also known as Marche des Feticheurs, is situated in the district of Akodessawa, which is part of Lomé, the capital city of Togo in West Africa. This market holds the distinction of being the largest voodoo market in the world, offering an extensive array of items such as monkey heads, skulls, dead birds, crocodiles, skins, and other products derived from deceased animals. It can be seen as a comprehensive supply store catering to the needs of those seeking fetishes, charms, and other ritual paraphernalia.

Voodoo has deep roots in Togo, with its origins tracing back centuries ago when African slaves brought Yoruba gods to the Caribbean and South America. In these new lands, a fusion occurred between African deities, Christian saints, and Catholic symbols, resulting in a transformation of their meanings. Eventually, when former slaves and their families returned to West Africa, they established a voodoo cult in their ancestral homeland.

Within the practice of Voodoo, every living or deceased creature holds potent and divine qualities, and at the Akodessewa Fetish Market, one can find an astonishing variety of animals in various stages of decay, such as monkeys, alligators, goats, leopards, gazelles, and many more. These macabre piles of animal remains pervade the market's atmosphere, even though the outdoor location fails to fully mask the accompanying stench. For tourists unaccustomed to the concept of animal sacrifice as part of religious worship or the utilization of deceased items as talismans, the market can be quite jarring. However, for locals who actively practice the religion, it is regarded as a treasure and a necessity.

Monkey Skulls, credits to Julius Cruickshank originally uploaded to Flickr

The concept of fetish in Voodoo bears striking resemblance to the Orisha found in Yoruba tradition. A fetish can symbolize a deity, a human being, a plant, an animal, or even an inanimate object, depending on the specific ritual and contextual factors at play. Through the ritual process, the fetish is activated and infused with a potent spiritual energy, making it a conduit for divine power and influence.

Upon arrival at the market, visitors are required to pay an entrance fee, a modest investment to embark on a truly extraordinary journey. Additionally, photography enthusiasts should be aware of an additional charge of 2,000 CFA per camera, allowing them to capture the captivating scenes that unfold within the market. Engaging the services of a knowledgeable guide, well-versed in the intricacies of the market area, is highly recommended, as they can provide valuable insights and ensure a more immersive experience.

The Voodoo market is comprised of fifteen stalls, each managed by skilled salesmen and experienced healers hailing from the neighboring country of Benin, which holds the honor of being the birthplace of the Voodoo religion. Their presence adds an enriching cultural dimension, showcasing the interconnections and shared heritage between these neighboring West African nations.

a boy working at a stall in Akodessawa, credits to Dominik Schwarz via wikimedia

A particular section within the market holds great significance as it serves as a sacred space where voodoo priests consult with spirits and infuse charms and fetishes with spiritual power. People from far and wide flock to this hallowed ground, seeking resolutions to their problems and fervently believing that their wishes can be fulfilled with the approval and intervention of the spirits. The priest, serving as a conduit between the human and spiritual realms, prescribes various charms tailored to specific needs, such as charms for safe travels, matters of the heart, home protection, and good health. This sacred space within the Akodessawa Fetish Market holds an aura of reverence and mystique, attracting individuals seeking spiritual guidance and solace.

Overall, the Akodessawa Fetish Market in Togo offers an intriguing and unparalleled experience for travelers, immersing them in the vibrant tapestry of voodoo culture and practices. It is a place where ancient traditions and beliefs converge with the modern world, providing a glimpse into the rich spiritual heritage of West Africa.

Various sources were used to create this article,


About the Creator

aly suhail

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.