Benin Vodoun Voodoo

The Fa Oracle of Benin

To many of the indigenous  peoples of West-Africa, the fa represents the soul of their culture. Fa is the means of communication with the gods and ancestors, speaking to them through a unique and complex system of 256 symbols, each symbolizing 16 parabels and 16 local expressions.

However, local belief dictates that only the bokonon can interpret the fa oracle and its meaning due to his knowledge of these 256 symbols, he is the one who talks to the realm of gods and ancestors and is thus presented with the answers given by the oracle. Leon Gbaguidi of Savalou, Benin, is such a bokonon. 85 years of age, he is drawing close to the end of his life on earth. His son Christian has been entrusted by the family to stand by Leon in his final years. It is Christians’ wish to prevent his fathers’ ancestral knowledge of the fa language to pass away with him.

To ensure the survival of local knowledge of the fa oracle, Sinchi has donated the required equipment to record Leons’ testimony and document this important part of their culture.