Voodoo: Mamywata (04:30)
Peter Owen-Jones joins a fishing crew in Benin to visit their goddess’ shrine before going out to sea; she is often depicted as a mermaid. They summon her spirit and sprinkle chicken’s blood on a portal to her realm.
Voodoo: Gris Gris (04:44)
Owen-Jones inspects a Fetish Market where objects with ritual power are sold. Animal parts are most powerful and a wide range of species are available. Ceremonies are conducted to attain something, offering practical solutions to common problems.
Voodoo: Church of Thron (05:40)
Owen-Jones attends Sunday service at a church in Cotonou; the sect has adopted some Catholic traditions. The congregation sings, dances, and makes animal sacrifices; they believe the creatures’ spirits carry messages to their god.
San Trance Dance (08:34)
The Bushmen of Ghanzi are the genetically oldest humans; during a sunset ritual, the women sing, triggering the men to dance until entering altered states. Owen-Jones discusses hunting conditions with an elderly woman; resources are dwindling and old beliefs disappearing.
Zulu Sangomas (04:25)
Priests of Johannesburg’s traditional religion are relied upon by government and society; the faithful believe that humans are surrounded by the spirits of their dead ancestors. Peter Owen-Jones meets with a priestess; she reads bones, telling him about his grandfather.
Twelfth Apostolic Church (04:32)
In Johannesburg, Christians gather every Friday on a mound for prayer; the denomination offers an African interpretation of Biblical scripture. They invoke the Holy Spirit through laying on hands, basing their beliefs on its power.
Afrikaaner Calvinism (05:05)
Owen-Jones attends prayer service at a home near Groot Marico River; the faithful are part of the white minority that controlled South Africa. They discuss retaining their European faith and defend their views on apartheid; they believe the second coming of Christ is imminent.
Addis Ababa was home to Haile Selassie, Ethiopia’s last emperor; he became Messiah for the Jamaican faith in 1930 when he was crowned. The religion started among slave descendants; they believe they are a lost tribe of Israel and the King is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
Ethiopian Islam (04:28)
Owen-Jones attends a ceremony at the first Muslim settlement in Africa; men chew khat while chanting thanks. They believe that hardships come about when men do not follow God’s rules; the area is plagued by famine and drought.
Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity (09:21)
Ethiopia has been a Christian nation since the fourth century; Owen-Jones attends the feast of Saint Michael at a church carved into mountain rock. The priest’s prayer service starts the festival; the congregation joins them in the evening. Their faith gives them strength to deal with harsh conditions.
Credits: Rituals: Africa (00:30)
Credits: Rituals: Africa
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