West African Nations - 2012

There were some amazingly large and colorful lizards living in the Sacred Forest and we realized that we understood no more about Voodoo after visiting this site than did the lizards themselves. We do know that this is the most important of the indigenous religions in West Africa and that it has many adherents. Even among locals who have embraced Christianity or Islam, elements of voodoo are incorporated into their new faiths. Gate of No Return On leaving Quidah, we rode towards the Atlantic beside a river named by the slaves “The River of No Return.” That dolorous route took us to the “Gate of No Return” erected on the beach by UNESCO as a permanent memorial to the many who were forced into slavery. It is in the form of a huge sandstone arch with reliefs on both sides depicting men, women and children being led to the ships in shackles. A melancholy site to be sure.

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