Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
Click on image above to zoom.

Fon Vodun Boccio Janus Fetish Statue Benin Togo Custom Base

Product #: 130362
US Shipping: $29.98
Add Items to Cart

Title Fon Vodun Boccio Janus Fetish Statue Benin Togo Custom Base
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Republic of Benin, see also Togo
People Fon
Materials Wood, cloth, encrustation, metal
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 18.5 Inches
Width: 10 Inches
Depth: 11 Inches
Overall Condition Fair to Good
Damage/Repair Large cracks

Additional Information: The piece has encrusted patina and cloth impregnated with sacrificial mixture which often includes liquids like milk, eggs and blood.

The use of fetishes among the Vodun practitioners of Benin is widespread, and in fact they are a vital part of the daily life of the village. A fetish, or more correctly "bochio," is in its simplest terms a prayer: a remote object, empowered by a priest, and used as an intermediary for change. Once a fetish has entered the market, there is no way to know exactly what it was used for.  The most frequent use of a bochio is to drive away the meddling forces of witchcraft, which to the Fon is the source of most problems. The final components of a piece can be telling. The use of unspecified forms could indicate the involvement of spirits in the life of members of the community seeking for help. 

The Fon people are perhaps the best known of all the Vodun practitioners remaining in Africa, probably because there has been so little success by outsiders to "convert" them. The practice is extremely widespread however, and even if not formally endorsed by villages or chiefs, it is still a strong force for many individuals all over West Africa, regardless of tribal affiliation. The practice of "voodoo" in the Caribbean and the United States is, of course, an African import, brought across the Atlantic by would-be slaves. Today the two religions have little in common, however. According to Steve Messick, "Vodun should not be confused with its bastardized cousin in Haiti and the US, 'voodou,' although the New World version did originate in West Africa, and maintains vestiges of its African roots. Vodun is a uniquely African path: to peace with the unknown, with nature, and with other people."

For more information and photos of similar pieces, see Blier's "AFRICAN VODUN."