It’s pronounced ‘Vodu’

Surrey Museum to host exhibit of the music, dance and spirit of West Africa.

The music, dance and spirit of West Africa are set to inhabit the Community Treasures exhibit space at the Surrey Museum.

Opening Nov. 13, the small yet vibrant exhibit will enlighten museum goers about the practice of Vodu, an indigenous belief system of Gbe-speaking ethnic groups in West Africa.

As the practice of Vodu uses prayer, song, percussion, dance, sacrifice and ritual as a means of communicating with spiritual entities, the interactive exhibit will utilize objects, sights and sounds used in the practice.

Commonly confused with “voodoo” as a result of miseducation and media, Vodu is in fact a life-affirming positivity founded in balance.

Co-curated by doctoral student and musician Curtis Andrews and UBC’s Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo, the exhibit will feature items from their personal collections from Ghana, Togo and Benin. Visitors can expect musical instruments, ritual implements, photos, video and audio.

“I see the exhibit as a way to let Canadians know about a belief system that their neighbours may or may not practice, but at least is a reference point into an aspect of an important and relevant aspect of African culture of a particular region,” said Andrews.”

An all-ages free, family event to celebrate the exhibit opening is planned for Sunday, Nov. 13 from 1-3 p.m. at the Surrey Museum.

Events include:

• 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – Ghanaian drumming and dancing performances by Adanu Habobo;

• 2 p.m. – Curator’s tour with Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo; and

• Ghanaian food from Surrey restaurant Taste of Africa

The Vodu exhibit will remain on display until Dec. 23.

It is part of the Community Treasures exhibit program at the Surrey Museum, a community curated space offering a means for Surrey’s many cultures to be shared.

The Surrey Museum is located at 17710 56A Ave. For more information, visit surrey.ca/heritage.

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