The Fantasy Genre has long been dominated by the religions and customs of countries touched on by the Crusades. While this makes sense, with the familiar image of a knight wandering foreign lands being key to the genre itself, there has been stagnation in recent times. As such, I’ve taken it upon myself to look into the cultures of the world and find fascinating details about other mythologies often overlooked by the genre we so love, going on a bit of a tour of world mythologies.
Over the last few months I’ve made it a point to go more into depth about West Africa than I have other parts of the world. I’ve always intended to go back to other parts of the world for more specifics as time goes on, the earlier entries being used as an introduction to things a bit at a time that could then lead into continuing this series indefinitely. And it’s true that there are a lot of variances in other parts of the world that I fully intend to explore. But I felt that, culturally, we owe West Africa a bit more credit than we’ve given it in the past. For a long time the parts of the world that were influenced by European culture have had an impression of what West African culture was like and deemed it to be somewhat inferior more often than not.
So as we reach the last entry for the West African region, I find it appropriate that I end it on the note of a religion most misunderstood from the region. Though we think we know quite a bit about it, the religion we’ve come to know as Vodou has long been represented as some form of dark art with practices that deal with demonic forces. Too often we see the image of the Vodou Witchdoctor who does depraved things to the living and the dead.
But when we look closer, like the rest of the region, it’s easy to see that we got it wrong… Continue reading Mythology World Tour: Defining Vodoun