International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies
ISSN: 2028-9324     CODEN: IJIABO     OCLC Number: 828807274     ZDB-ID: 2703985-7
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Vodoun: Historical and socio-anthropological study of an ancestral heritage in search of affirmation

Volume 41, Issue 3, January 2024, Pages 814–824

 Vodoun: Historical and socio-anthropological study of an ancestral heritage in search of affirmation

Bienvenu Hospice Hounyoton1

1 Anthropologist and Human Rights Specialist, National Institute of Youth, Physical Education and Sport, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin

Original language: English

Copyright © 2024 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article sheds light on the undeniable significance of Vodoun in Benin as a deeply rooted religious and cultural phenomenon. This anthropological religious practice exerts a crucial influence on both individual and collective levels. The examination of Vodoun in Benin reveals its profound integration into local culture, playing a pivotal role in promoting spiritual well-being and constructive collaboration between authorities and guardians of religious tradition. It constitutes an indispensable pillar of socio-cultural identity, contributing to development and the protection of human rights. According to our findings, Vodoun maintains a close connection with power, endowing it with legitimacy in various aspects, and it holds great importance in educational, social, cultural, economic, and political domains. Taking these elements into consideration, it is universally acknowledged as a foundational religion that encourages harmonious coexistence with other beliefs. It occupies a central place in religious and political culture, thus contributing to the country’s development. Nevertheless, challenges persist, notably the fight against discrimination and the essential promotion of interreligious tolerance. It is imperative for public authorities to actively collaborate with Vodun to address development challenges and promote religious tolerance in Benin, thereby preserving the richness of its religious culture.

Author Keywords: Vodoun, Religion, Culture, Identity, Development, Tolerance.

How to Cite this Article

Bienvenu Hospice Hounyoton, “Vodoun: Historical and socio-anthropological study of an ancestral heritage in search of affirmation,” International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 814–824, January 2024.