The Egoun Goun spirits in the so-called 'Revenant' ceremony. A Voodoo ritual in the province of Zinvié, a town and arrondissement in the Atlantique Department in southern Benin.
The chef-du-village opening the Revenant Voodoo celebration pouring gin and making offers at the tree of the ancestors.
Portrait of a masqueraded Egoun Goun spirit at a Voodoo ritual ceremony.
People gather to attend a Nago Voodoo ritual in the province of Zinvié, a town and arrondissement in the Atlantique Département of southern Benin.
The spirits are always accompanied by a “minder,” also a member of the Egoun Goun society, who carries a long stick to ensure a safe distance is kept between curious crowds and the Egoun Goun.
Voodoo ceremonies are always accompanied by the beating drums of African traditional music that contribute to creating an engaging and exuberant environment.
The masqueraded figures embodying the spirits of the non-living chase the crowd trying to hit the people with rods, woods or even knives. The effect of the escape is particularly exciting, commended with a sacral fear and festive joy for the manifestation of an event perceived as positive and auspicious for the group.
Tradition holds that having any contact whatsoever with an Egoun Goun can be deadly for both the spirit and the other person. So each Egoun Goun is accompanied by a “minder,” also a member of the Egoun Goun society, who carries a long stick to ensure a safe distance is kept between curious crowds and the Egoun Goun.
During the rituals, the Egoun Goun incarnating the souls of the non-living, move in a convulsive and unpredictable way. The ceremonies are always accompanied by drums, music and dances that contribute to creating an engaging environment that while retaining a specific significance, sometimes ends up becoming a goliardic moment of pure entertainment.