Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department or School/College
Department of Geography
Sarah Halvorson, Tobin Shearer, William Borrie
Benin, Indigenous, Ouidah, Vodun, Animism, Stewardship
University of Montana
Indigenous, animistic religions inherently convey a close relationship and stewardship for the environment. This stewardship is very apparent in the region of southern Benin, Africa. The Fon peoples of this region practice a traditional religion termed Vodun, which manifested from the 17th century slave trade, and subsequently migrated to the Caribbean and Americas where it transmuted into Voodoo, among other religions. The migration of pre-colonial religious canon to the Western Hemisphere has garnered ample study; however, the pioneering religion, Vodun, has received far less scholastic attention, despite Benin’s recognition of Vodun as a national religion. In this thesis, I contend that the Fon exemplify a society that incorporates rites and rituals of their animistic religion into their daily lives expressed through forms of stewardship, particularly as it pertains to the Forêt Sacrée de Kpassé. This fusion of religious tradition with environmental interaction is inseparable, as are the subsequent environmental effects. This thesis discussion entails an investigation of the impacts of Vodun beliefs on environment-society relations. The results of this study are based upon a qualitative study conducted in the summer of 2009 in Ouidah, Benin.
JANSSEN, HAYDEN THOMAS, "STEWARDSHIP IN WEST AFRICAN VODUN: A CASE STUDY OF OUIDAH, BENIN" (2010). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 915.
© Copyright 2010 HAYDEN THOMAS JANSSEN