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The Zangbeto
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The traditional voodoo night guards among the Ogu (or Egun) people of Benin, Togo, and Nigeria are called Zangbeto. The Zangbeto cult, a traditional police and security group, is in charge of keeping law and order and ensuring safety and security in Ogu communities.

They are much respected and serve as an unofficial police force, patrolling the streets, particularly at night, keeping an eye on residents and their possessions, looking out for offenders, and bringing them before the community for punishment. Zangbeto, who was originally meant to scare away the adversary, will patrol the streets looking for thieves and witches while defending law and order.[1] [2]

The description[change | change source]

Zangbeto is a term in the Gun language that means "Men of the night" or "Night-watchmen," relating to its basic cultural role in neighborhood vigilantism and neighborhood policing in Ogu cultures. The Zangbeto appears in a multilayered pattern of teeny-tiny ropes of hay, raffia, or other threadlike materials, which are occasionally dyed in vibrant colors. [3]

They have the capacity to enter trances during which, according to belief, spirits with specialized understanding of human behavior can inhabit their bodies. However, Ogu legend tells that there are no humans under the costume, only spirits of the night.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Okunola & Ojo 2013, pp. 199–220.
  2. VoA.
  3. Okure 2016, pp. 10–30.
  4. Hunsu 2011.