Thursday, May 2, 2013

BENIN ~Zangbeto-Voodoo guardians~

...WooW!! A new amazing African country to add to my collection...I had to look a few times to see what the postcard really shows...a dancing hay-stack or swirling mass of straw???
Benin is the spiritual birthplace of Voodoo...a mysterious religion for us... but an  official recognised religion  in Africa!!Thanks a million Rod for this wonderful surprise! (follow his adventures: Expedition Cruising )





  Whit great stamp:
Cardinal Bernardin Gantin (Issued 15-09-2011)

Zangbeto are the traditional voodoo guardians of the night in the Yoruba religion of Benin and Togo which are known as the "Nightwatchmen".

They were originally created to scare the enemy away, now the Zangbeto will wander around the street to detect thieves and witches, and dispensing justice.

The Zangbeto mask is very tall and covered with colored straw. It represents wild non human spirits (the forces of nature and of the night that inhabited the Earth before human beings). The mask wearers belong to a secret society and keep their identity hidden as the non-initiated cannot know who they are.

When Zangbeto comes out, it is a big important event for the village. Its performance guarantees protection against bad spirits and malicious people. The spinning movement of the mask symbolizes the spiritual cleaning of the village and Zangbeto also performs miracles to prove its powers.

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