People at the Agbogboza Festival

The Agbogboza Festival in Notse, Togo: What a beautiful celebration.

The festivities include dances, music, parades and speeches. Groups of Voodoo dancers and musicians fill up the streets. Every group is wearing their distinctive attire. Some were fully covered in long grass, their faces hidden behind handmade masks. I saw one guy wearing an old Darth Vader mask, totally refurbished. There was always a scent of fresh and lush grass in the air when you walked and danced around this group.
Another group would shoot handmade bullets from a 125 year old rifle, that was used to hunt in the forest for many generations. The shots fired honored the King of the Ewe. People would donate things like food, water or items to their little Voodoo shrine and by the end of the day they would sacrifice a chicken and a goat.
Some of the dance groups were all female, singing and dancing the history and tales of the Ewe people. For the Ewe people, having a big bottom represents health, fertility and beauty. Women with smaller bottoms would pad their bums to appear bigger and more to the beauty standard.
One group of young male dancers throw yellow powder in their faces, they will dance in the heat until they fall down in exhaustion. Some of their moves remind of early the early New Yorker and Brooklyn breakdance moves.