In Senegal there are merchants who specialize in gris-gris supplies—goat horns, porcupine quills, cowrie shells, and the like for making fetishes. These little leather pouches are practically the first thing that a village newborn wears, and from that moment on people keep them tied around arms, necks, waists, and car steering columns. Though their place in official religion is perhaps dubious, they are ubiquitous.

This is one seller’s table in Tamba:

gris gris table

And down there on the left… Could that be…?

monkey paw

Yes, yes it is. Who wouldn’t want that around their neck?

4 Responses to “i put a spell on you…”

please tell me that hand belongs to an ape of the less-obviously-sentient variety.

Well hopefully the rest of it gotten eaten. I’d hate to see a good monkey go to waste. Muy triste.

hi, i’m Lauren. A dear, wonderful friend (I suppose american culture would call him my boyfriend) of mine joined the Peace Corps and left for Senegal today. I’m not naive about what will probably happen to us.
But we are dear friends and I am just curious as to what he will be encountering? I’m interested in joining the peace corps myself someday and want to know people that do this/are doing this.

Don’t worry, Amy — my guess would be that its former owner was a green monkey. They’re little and kinda cute, and good at stealing peanut butter, but I’m sure relatively dim.

And yes, Holly, probably tasty, too.