7 popular Nigerian ritual and fetish myths
Stories of 'money rituals', magun and love potions are still common today.
References to indigenous gods, fetish practices and Babalawos are first served to us in folk tales.
As we grow older, we hear scarier urban legends; then there’s Nollywood where Kanayo. O. Kanayo continues to help people disappear and re-emerge as bags full of money.
While some of these practices seem obvious and verifiable, there are quite a few that you cannot confirm unless you’ve been involved with them before.
Here are 7 fetish myths we've heard of and you probably have too:
(1) Touch and Follow Rings:
Getting the attention of a particular woman can be an obsessive desire for many men. In the various traditional belief systems, there are various ways to hack attraction.
One of the most storied of those is touch and follow rings. As the story goes, 'touch and follow' rings are used by the wearer to put anyone he touches in a trance-like state.
The victim then follows the wearer and sheepishly obeys any orders given until the spell is broken or the wearer dies.
(2) Manhood for Money:
Nollywood abounds with stories of ritual money practices. One of the most common is that where men sacrifice their manhood in exchange for wealth.
The story begins when a person desires that he wants wealth, by any means.
This search for fortune usually leads to an acquaintance, a friend or a brotherhood who places the conditions before them. When the choice is made, the individual may undergo some rituals.
While the male member may still be present, it is reduced to little more than a physical appendage: the owner cannot use it to have intercourse or make children.
(3) Love Potions:
Imagine this: a woman is infatuated with a man who doesn’t return her affection, either at all or to a small degree. So she goes to a priest who gives her a powder.
'Pour it into his soup, let him eat it, after the second day, he will never be able to think of another woman but you”. Fans of Nollywood will be familiar with this storyline.
Love Potions have been blamed for many apparently absurd pairings. Some women when caught have confessed to using Potions on their love interests.
This mythical practice is usually done to prevent promiscuity and infidelity. Movies like MainFrame Productions' Thunderbolt depict the intricacies of how magun works.
When a woman with magun has intercourse outside of her marriage, the sexual partner usually exhibits some form of strange behaviour. If he is not given the antidote, he may die in little time.
(5) Incisions for physical protection:
Nigerians are somewhat obsessed with the need for protection from spiritual and physical attacks. It is not uncommon to find people from different tribes with various incisions at different parts of their bodies.
It is said that traditional healers cut some lines in the skin and fill them with herbal mixtures.
Sometimes, the incisions are said to bring good luck and favour, in other cases, they offer protection from all forms of attacks.
(6) Rain Making:
Ever notice one of those instances when it seems like a thunderstorm is in the works and all of a sudden the sky is clear?
Most people believe that rainmakers have the ability to hold the rain when necessary and make it fall when there’s a drought.
According to folk stories, they were used by farmers to prevent the destruction of their crops by torrential rains. Today, you’re more likely to hear rain makers mentioned when canopies are spread out for a party.
(7) Talking to the other side:
This is where things get a little gloomy. Curiosity to talk loved ones who have passed away have driven humans through all ages down different rabbit holes in the past.
There are claims that Fela was heavily derailed when his mother died and spent his life trying to communicate with her. Ultimately, it led him to Professor Hindu, a poser and Fela’s personal spiritualist.
Yet, traditionalists claim to talk to the other side or to have been ministered to. Persons with unanswered questions often claim to have been led to talk to the other side with the help of a spiritualist.
Old folk tales also tell of older shamans who could operate in a realm of the dead where they visited to revive bodies or deliver important messages.
If you believe Nollywood, it happens with the aid of a mirror, although we like to believe it's not that serious.
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