Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Friday, April 21, 2017

African Fetish

Fetish figures throughout Africa are vessels of power that can control and influence things seen and unseen affecting destiny.


African Fetish 


A fetish is an object with perceived supernatural powers used to invoke vigilant and protective spirits to drive away evil spirits, invoke the power to afflict a person with a disease or attempt to control destiny. In Africa and throughout the world these beliefs are manifested in some of the most expressive and magical power figures ever created called fetishes.

Fetish figures throughout Africa are vessels of power that can control and influence things seen and unseen affecting destiny.
 Rafa African Fetish
Common to many tribes in Africa is the belief that the fetishes are powerful through their ritualistic carving and sanctification. Fetishes also are made of different special substances and offered sacrifices depending on the need of the person.

Fetishes are carved with the intention to be held in the hand or set upright in the ground during a ceremony in which songs, dances, invocations, divinations, and gifts are associated with fetish devotion.

The delicacy of feature and expression used in the carved wooden figures of human beings and animals are typical art forms used to make a fetish. Some fetishes have the heads or stomachs hollowed out to hold special materials. Among the materials added to the wood figures are horns, shells, nails, feathers, mirrors, metal, twine, paint, cloth, raffia, fur, beads and herbs; anything thought to add power to the fetish.

The word fetish is a Portuguese word feitiço meaning charm, sorcery. Nowadays fetish is used to denote a wide variety of magical and religious objects for mental or spiritual strength.

Share this page

Trending Now

Did you know?

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

A tree without roots cannot survive the wind

A tree without roots cannot survive the wind
African Proverb