Ivory Coast King May Order Procession Of Naked Women To Ward Off Pandemic

Covid-19
COVID-19

An Ivory Coast monarch could order a procession of naked women to ward off coronavirus by seeking the protection of spirits, a trusted aide has said.

Last week, the king of Sanwi, held a special exorcism ceremony seeking divine intervention to protect his three million subjects against the epidemic.

The event would have experienced a large turnout of people save for the coronavirus restrictions keeping gatherings to less than 50 people.

“I ask God … to protect the population and keep this virus away from the kingdom, Ivory Coast and the world,” King Amon N’Douffou V said, speaking through his official announcer as royals do not address the public directly.

Traditional “komians” or women healers dressed in white purified the royal court by sprinkling alcohol to the strains of the “abodan”, a traditional beat.

According to AFP, such ceremonies are held to ward off natural disasters such as droughts or floods.

Ivory Coast has more than 1,000 cases of the new coronavirus with 14 deaths and the government has roped in traditional rulers to enforce social distancing and other measures.

He said, through the royal announcer, calling coronavirus a “bad spirit” that “Human beings have to redefine their space in this world and respect nature. Without that, we will always be confronted with these epidemics,” he added.

“In Africa, we live in two worlds — the visible and the invisible,” said Ben Kottia, the king’s counsellor. “Only kings have the power through this libation to demand the protection of the invisible world.

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“The king can order women who hold this secret to perform the ‘adjalou’ — a procession through the village to protect the people.

“During Adjalou, these women are naked and we confine men and children in their homes,” he said.

“The women erect barricades at the entrance of villages to prevent bad spirits from entering and claiming lives.”

The procession is kept secret until the previous day when the royal announcer goes through the village to say it will take place. (AFP)

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