culturesoftheworld

The Ngondo is yearly festival in Douala, Cameroon. A ceremony is performed by the jengu cult, in which a devotee enters the water to visit the kingdom of the miengu. Miengu (plural for jengu) are mermaid-like spirits with long hair and beautiful gap-teeth, who bestow good luck to devotees, cure diseases and allow them to communicate with the world of spirits. Image: Photokadaffi on Wikimedia Commons

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Rusalkas are water spirits from Slavic folklore, who appear as a pretty young girls with long hair. In some versions of lore, Rusalkas are the souls of drowned women or unclean spirits who lure men into water, and drown them by entangling their body with their long red hair. Image: Ivan Bilibin

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El Tío (The Uncle) is the devil-like spirit who rules over the mines of Cerro Rico in Bolivia. Statues of this “Lord of the Underworld” can be found all throughout Cerro Ricco’s mines, with offerings like cigarettes, coca leaves, and alcohol left for protection and appeasement.

“Miners may be Christians when above ground, but when in the mine, El Tio is their only god.”

Images: SHIBUYA K, Erik Duinkerken, Jofrigerio, Harry en Marleen

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