photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Christa Neuenhofer | profile | all galleries >> Healers, soothsayers and magic places in Burkina Faso tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Healers, soothsayers and magic places in Burkina Faso

The government of Burkina Faso, West Africa, stated in its most recent census (2006) that 60.5% of the population practice Islam, some 23.2% are Christians and 15.3% follow traditional indigenous beliefs. But Islam and Christianity are often practiced in tandem with indigenous religious beliefs. A popular saying in Burkina Faso claims that "50% are Muslim, 50% are Christian, and 100% are animist". (Wikipedia)
This can be seen at some places, where there are animist shrines. There hundreds of animals – mainly white chickens, but also goats and sheep – are sacrificed every day and the whole area is covered with a thick layer of white feathers. One of those shrines is e.g. the shrine of the sacred catfish at Dafra, near Bobo-Dioulasso.
And also the traditional healers, who may be of any religious denomination, do not only use herbs but also ingredients that remind of voodoo (snake skins, hedgehogs, bones etc). And if there is a really difficult case they throw their cowries, use some other fetishes and ask their genius for help to find out what troubles the people. The pieces of advice we heard after animist ceremonies from such healers were e.g. the following:
How to cure an aching leg: “Go to the market and buy a two metres long strap of white cloth, a white chicken that is hurt and seven sad kola nuts. Use these things for a kind of ceremonial washing of your body. Afterwards give everything to a beggar, then your leg will be OK again.”
To guarantee a happy relation in the family: “Go to the market and buy a white guinea pig. Pluck some feathers from the fowl and throw them together with 500 CFA (about 80 euro cent) into the air. Then take the money and the guinea pig and give both to a beggar.”
I do not know if something like that really helps, but at least it is a good system to support the needy.

I published two further photo galleries about Burkina Faso: “Impressions from Burkina Faso“ http://www.pbase.com/neuenhofer/impressions_from_burkina_faso and “Gold Mining in Burkina Faso” http://www.pbase.com/neuenhofer/gold_mining_in_burkina_faso and this gallery also exists in French: "Guérisseurs, devins et féticheurs et des places magiques ŕ Burkina Faso" http://www.pbase.com/neuenhofer/guerisseurs_devins_et_feticheur_burkina_faso

Have a preview of my complete book about Burkina Faso (172 pages with 300 photos). The texts in the book are in German. If you do not speak German, just enjoy the photos!

Burkina Faso by Christa Neuenhofer | Make Your Own Book
Healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi tribe) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi tribe) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté  (Lobi tribe) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi tribe) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté  (Lobi tribe) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi tribe) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetishes in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté  (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetishes in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetishes in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté  (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetishes in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetish in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté  (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetish in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetish in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté  (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetish in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetish in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté  (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Fetish in the compound of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Ancestors guarding the house of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté  (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Ancestors guarding the house of healer and soothsayer Sib Tadjalté (Lobi) in Kerkera, Burkina Faso.
Ancestors guarding the compound of a Lobi family in Kampti, Burkina Faso.
Ancestors guarding the compound of a Lobi family in Kampti, Burkina Faso.
Healer Ba Zane (Mossi tribe) in Sena, Burkina Faso, writes magic words in the sand and throws cowries to help his clients.
Healer Ba Zane (Mossi tribe) in Sena, Burkina Faso, writes magic words in the sand and throws cowries to help his clients.
Fetishes and the sacrifice of a chicken help healer and soothsayer Ba Zane (Mossi tribe) in Sena, Burkina, to predict the future
Fetishes and the sacrifice of a chicken help healer and soothsayer Ba Zane (Mossi tribe) in Sena, Burkina, to predict the future
Fetish pot of healer and soothsayer Ba Zane (Mossi tribe) in Sena, Burkina Faso
Fetish pot of healer and soothsayer Ba Zane (Mossi tribe) in Sena, Burkina Faso
Chickens to be sacrificed at the sacred catfish shrine at Dafra, Burkina Faso.
Chickens to be sacrificed at the sacred catfish shrine at Dafra, Burkina Faso.
Lots of white feathers of sacrificed chicken at the sacred catfish shrine at Dafra, Burkina Faso.
Lots of white feathers of sacrificed chicken at the sacred catfish shrine at Dafra, Burkina Faso.
Goat sacrificed at the sacred catfish shrine at Dafra, Burkina Faso.
Goat sacrificed at the sacred catfish shrine at Dafra, Burkina Faso.
Skins of goats and sheep that have been sacrificed at the sacred catfish shrine at Dafra, Burkina Faso.
Skins of goats and sheep that have been sacrificed at the sacred catfish shrine at Dafra, Burkina Faso.
Female soothsayer and healer at Toumousseni (Karaboro tribe), who is possessed by the spirit of a sacred Baobab tree, Burkina
Female soothsayer and healer at Toumousseni (Karaboro tribe), who is possessed by the spirit of a sacred Baobab tree, Burkina
Female soothsayer and healer at Toumousseni (Karaboro tribe), who is possessed by the spirit of a sacred Baobab tree, Burkina
Female soothsayer and healer at Toumousseni (Karaboro tribe), who is possessed by the spirit of a sacred Baobab tree, Burkina
Healer and soothsayer Kone Hamadou in Nafona (Gouin tribe), Burkina Faso.
Healer and soothsayer Kone Hamadou in Nafona (Gouin tribe), Burkina Faso.
Fetishes of healer and soothsayer Kone Hamadou in Nafona (Gouin tribe), Burkina Faso.
Fetishes of healer and soothsayer Kone Hamadou in Nafona (Gouin tribe), Burkina Faso.
Fetishes of healer and soothsayer Kone Hamadou in Nafona (Gouin tribe), Burkina Faso.
Fetishes of healer and soothsayer Kone Hamadou in Nafona (Gouin tribe), Burkina Faso.
Fetishes next to the door of a traditional hut preventing spirits from entering. Burkina Faso.
Fetishes next to the door of a traditional hut preventing spirits from entering. Burkina Faso.
Twin fetishes at Koro (Bobo tribe), Burkina Faso
Twin fetishes at Koro (Bobo tribe), Burkina Faso
Hunter (Turka tribe) with grigris (amulets) that shall prevent him from getting wounded. Burkina Faso.
Hunter (Turka tribe) with grigris (amulets) that shall prevent him from getting wounded. Burkina Faso.
Healer and soothsayer Ouattara Soungari in Lera (Senufo tribe), Burkina Faso.
Healer and soothsayer Ouattara Soungari in Lera (Senufo tribe), Burkina Faso.
Roadside advertisement of healer and soothsayer Ouattara Soungari in Lera (Senufo tribe), Burkina Faso.
Roadside advertisement of healer and soothsayer Ouattara Soungari in Lera (Senufo tribe), Burkina Faso.
Advertisement of the traditional healer Amadou Jebre in a market in Toumousseni, Burkina Faso.
Advertisement of the traditional healer Amadou Jebre in a market in Toumousseni, Burkina Faso.
Traditional healer in a market in Toumousseni, Burkina Faso.
Traditional healer in a market in Toumousseni, Burkina Faso.
Traditional medicin sold in a market in Toumousseni, Burkina Faso,.
Traditional medicin sold in a market in Toumousseni, Burkina Faso,.