Kokou (orisha)

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In the Yoruba religion of Benin, a Kokou is one of the most highly feared warrior Undergods.[1] It is the most violent and powerful of the Yoruba spirits and the voodoo rituals surrounding it involves its followers to fall into a deep trance with rapidly beating drums. Once possessed by the spirit, the body in which the Kokou inhabits may remain in a trance all day and in due course demonstrate a thirst for blood with glass bottles and knives, swallow sharp objects or repeatedly beat its head against the wall until it bleeds profusively, revealing a high tolerance to pain.[1]

One who fails to respect the Kokou during a ceremonial trance may have a sacred calabash placed on his head until it becomes excessively heavy.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Butler 2006, p. 32.