FETISH PRIESTS, WITCH CAMPS AND FUNERAL RITES
120 pages, 170 photos and 1 map
The book is divided into three parts. The first part, which is the most comprehensive, is about fetish priests, their shrines and the rituals they perform, when they get into contact with the spirits – mostly those of ancestors. Sometimes also small spirits appear, who look very peculiar and are surrounded by a great cold. A priestess shows us that a trance dance is a further possibility to get insight into the realm of the ancestors.
Sometimes the spirits also want to be fed with blood, what means that animals have to be sacrificed to appease them.
The second part of the book is about a so-called witch camp. In Kukuo we meet women who were accused of being witches and who had to leave their former lives and their families behind and found refuge in this village. Four women tell the moving stories of their lives.
The last part of the book describes funeral rites in Ghana. Most probably there is no other country in the world in which funerals play such an important social role. Various aspects – from death to burial and commemoration – will be shown and explained in this book.
Christa Neuenhofer was born in 1949 in Germany. For many years she has travelled to countries in Asia, Africa and Central America. As she has a particular anthropological interest in tribal communities, she has visited quite a number of remote places, mainly in Asia. Especially in India she went to rural areas and took photos of tribal people and their traditional life - images of a cultural heritage which in only a few years will have been swept away by globalization.
She has published many of these photos on the Internet ( http://www.pbase.com/neuenhofer )
When visiting indigenous people she and her husband have always shown a special interest in what people believe. They had to notice that many religions vanish more and more due to still very active missionaries.
This curiosity in traditional faiths has now brought her to Togo and Benin to learn more about voodoo, a religion that has an increasing number of believers worldwide.