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Pregnant woman, acrylic panel, 1990s

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Disease and organs treated by a vodoo practitioner in Benin. Acrylic paintings, 1990s. This painting (no. 6) shows a pregnant woman.

Salvaged in August 2010, the six panels formed the walls of the shack of a vodoo (voodoo, vodou, vodun) practitioner in the town of Adjarra. The town is about one hour's drive from Porto Novo, the capital city of Benin, on a mud road towards the Nigerian border. The population attends a flourishing vodoo market where medical practitioners have dried animal parts, carved statuettes and other fetishistic items available for medicinal purposes. The paintings advertise the diseases and parts of the body which the practitioner offers to cure through sorcery and animal sacrifices that call upon the spirit world.


Credit: Wellcome Collection

Free to use with attribution