les gardiens...

The protectors of Madame Fixile, fertility goddess of Togoville.

When taken to visit the shrine of a voodoo fetish on our tour of the village, these gentlemen invited us to leave an "offering". Our first reaction was to feign confusion and misunderstanding. But soon enough their meaning was all too clear.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out some coins.

"No, no, no," they protested. "You must leave paper money."

Togo, April 2007.

Rolleiflex T, Fomapan 200.