West Africa’s traditional healers and secret societies

Magic and secret societies play an important role in society of Sierra Leone. It is something that is everywhere and part of politics, culture and religion. Secret societies can be found in all levels of society. Magic is one major reason that the secret societies are so

The photo project aims to capture the world of traditional healers, secret societies, and their impact on the daily lives of people in West Africa, specifically Sierra Leone and Liberia. The project follows the journey made by Graham Green in his book “Journey Without Maps” and focuses on photographing and portraiting healers, sacred sites, shrines, rituals, and ceremonies. The journey also sheds light on the healers who fight witchcraft, those who use dark practices, and the impact these societies have on society.

The journey takes the photographer deep into the jungle to uncover hidden societies and places, including bounty hunters who hunt for users of dark magic, witchcraft guns, the bongoman devil’s tree and its shrine, and the portal to the sacred herbal city of hemabu. Magic and secret societies play a significant role in Sierra Leone’s culture, religion, and politics. They are part of all levels of society and the fear of evil and witchcraft is what keeps these societies influential.

Witchcraft is a major concern in Sierra Leone, with all groups and associations fighting against it. Those accused of practicing witchcraft are persecuted and even killed. The photo project aims to shed light on this hidden world, capturing traditional priests, secret societies, and magical healers in their natural surroundings. This photographic journey offers a glimpse into the mystical world of Sierra Leone, highlighting the importance of magic and secret societies in this West African nation.

  • Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Published by Broadcaster VPRO Radio / Newspaper Trouw
  • Exhibition : FFF Fotofestival Naarden
  • Awards : Lensculture portrait award / Nominated for De TEGEL journalism price

Publications and exhibitions