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  7. African religions
  8. Vodún
Scope note
Term used to designate a diverse assemblage of spirit and ancestor cults constituting the traditional religion of the Fon and Ewe peoples residing in Dahomey (modern-day Benin). Vodún is a decentralized religious and social system united by common elements including ancestor and spirit veneration, deity ceremonies, and the use of animal sacrifice. It is widely understood as the original ancestor of the African diasporic Vodou and Voodoo religions, which were syncretically developed as enslaved Vodún practitioners encountered and integrated New World practices and cosmologies during the Atlantic slave trade. Vodún continues to thrive as the most practiced traditional African religion in Benin. For the Afro-Creole religion of Haiti, use “Vodou.” For the Afro-Creole religion of the Mississippi River Valley, use “Voodoo.”
Accepted term: 27-May-2024