Mama Zogbe completing Adé for one of her great-great grandfathers who was a priest. Togo, West Africa.  

If ones ancestor(s) or child has died prematurely, or through violence, torture, abuse, poisoning, witchcraft (Azé), prison, gunshot, war, etc.,  the Adé ceremony is critical. Each family’s ceremony is different depending on the person, their spiritual ranking, circumstances of their death etc., This ceremony not only frees the dead family member from the dark violent chaos that they would otherwise remain perpetually suspended in, he/she blesses, protects  and elevates the entire family  for performing this ceremony on their behalf.  Tragically, many in the Diaspora are unaware of these ceremonies, and assume that an expensive funeral will send their loved one who has died tragically or prematurely to “heaven” or to “the Ancestors.”  Unfortunately, this is simply not true. This is why even after all of the grieving has ended, there  still is no real closure. The spirit of the deceased is still haunting them to be put to peace.

Many Africans enslaved in the New World had already descended from Mama Tchamba lineages in which their ancestors might have sold slaves, or were themselves enslaved.  It is important to note that the Mama Tchamba ancestral clans in which all the enslaved dead  (and those who enslaved them are held accountable) and grouped, can involve any ethnic/racial/religious group.  

All of the wealth gained from their enslavement is returned to their hands. All of  the wealth the enslaver has earned from the enslavement of  others  holds no spiritual value. It will only circulate as “dirty wealth” as it creates more misery for them and the world. No one elevates until compensation is made through service to them.

The fundamental root that has brought much suffering, instability, division, confusion and despair to the African Diaspora, has its roots in the status and condition of their biological ancestors.  This suffering is particularly true for those Africans  enslaved and their descendants still suffering persecution in North America.

Many of those ancestors were brutalized  murdered, tortured, (castrated, mutilated, boiled in oil, raped etc.) and endured tremendous suffering prior to their deaths.   Even after their deaths, they were not accorded a respected funeral and burial in accordance to their unique spiritual status and/or ancestral traditions. None of their culture was either acknowledged nor respected by those who enslaved them.   As a result, their spirits are not at rest, and they exist suspended in the underworld of “chaos” which has created a great deal chaos and despair in their families. Families who now have no knowledge of either them, nor this important aspect of their spiritual culture.  

The problem lies in the Diaspora is in them not understanding that the solution to put these ancestors at peace, is not political, but is rather spiritual.  The solution lies not in more anger, rage, hatred and violence, for their ancestors who have suffered in this manner, are already in a suspended state of darkness due to the violence which caused their deaths.   What they are seeking is freedom.

The ancient ceremony, known as “Ade” is what they are desiring, which removes them from the land of “perpetual chaos” and allows them to return back into the land of the Ancestors, and with their families served through the Mama Tchamba.  Their spirits are begging their children for this ceremony, but many no longer understand their cries.    

Only when this ceremony is preformed are they able  to be of  assistance to their living families.  Without this ceremony, their kin (and their entire living families) will neither be protected, truly prosperous,  nor will they elevate.  These suffering ancestors  will continue to watch their children murdered, homeless, penniless etc., without the ability to properly advise and assist them.

The Ade (Mama Tchamba) ceremony elevates the entire family.


Why was the Haitian Revolution

       (1791–1804)  so successful?

They fed their “Petro” Ancestors!

(Petro meaning “hot” or those Ancestors who died violently) Once they are strengthen they are better able to fight for their living children. Until the Diaspora take care of their ancestors, they will always see their children, and themselves befallen by violence, misery, suffering and more death.

Christianity was introduced to remove all knowledge of how to service ones own Ancestors and deities.


Jean-Jacques Dessalines. He was chosen by a council of generals to assume the office of governor-general. He ordered the 1804 Haiti Massacre of the white Haitian elite minority, resulting in the deaths of between 3,000 and 5,000 people, between February and April 1804


               The Ancient Road That Leads To

The Return of the Enslaved Ancestors

Typical ancestral Mama Tchamba Shrine.  It is the enslaved ancestors from every family that must be appeased before one will find peace.


In Northen Togo about thirty-five kilometers from Sokode, in what is known as the “Tchamba District,” there exist a multi-ethnic mixture of mainly Fulani groups who are known as the Tchamba.   These rural districts consists of numerous towns and villages with Kri-Kri, Kambole, Dantcho and Kousoutou  comprising some of their main village centers. Buli and Gur, also known as “Atche”  is the language spoken by these Tchamba groups, whose inhabitants reside across the entire West African landscape including in Northern Ghana, Upper Volta, Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and among the Kaby  (Ewe) in the central Kara region of Togo.

 The ancestral spirits of these numerous Fulani groups are served in the lineages of the Ewe, Mina and Quatchi clans in southern Togo  because many of the Fulani women who fled northern Togo in search of work in the south were held in perpetual servitude by some Ewe families who often did not pay them due compensation for their services.  

When these Fulani servants died their spirits would return to the Ewe families from which they were indentured and demand to be honored and that their children be justly compensated.  In the majority of the cases, these ancestral spirits were inter-ethnically mixed because many Ewe men married their Fulani servants and bore children with them.

Divine Compensation: Righting Moral Wrongs

          Because the system of Divine Restitution is inherent within  the Yeveh Mami Vodoun Ewe cosmology, special ceremonial rites are held to honor those indentured Fulani whose ancestral lineages are as old as Africa herself.  In return for their honor the Ewe are rewarded with blessings of wealth, health and protection of their own children as well as divine relief from the Law of Restitution.  Although the Tchamba groups are found today in Northern Togo, their history is an ancient one that extends to a far more remote period in African history.

  The Fulani are some of the oldest Africans on the planet and are genetically connected with all African groups. Sometimes being completely absorbed by the local groups wherever they have settled.   However, the “Tchamba” “slave sibs,” did not begin with the Ewe. It has its origins deep in the soils of Africa’s oldest matriarchal ancestral spiritual systems. Specifically in the matriarchal compensatory systems of ancient Africa, where no African soul is “lost,” but are re-subsumed back into the cosmogenetic families of their original ancient sibs. In modern terms, for all enslaved throughout the Diaspora, this would mean the genetic haplogroups who descend from the first ancient mother clans of “Eve.”

Ancient  Meaning and Origin of Word “Tchamba”

Although attributed to the Fulani, “Tchamba” is actually a cosmological concept rooted in restoring justice to the ancient totemic and elevated ancestors whose children have been wronged by other Africans. Without this system of divine justice, the offending African clans will suffer misfortune and even extinction if justice through agreed compensation is not restored. According to some sources, the word “Tchamba” is a German phonetic corruption of the word “Samba” or “Somba,” meaning “naked/native.”  The colonial French spelling is “Chamba” and was attributed to the Fula (Fulani) groups of the West African Atlantic regions and among the Mande in North Africa.  

 However, the word “Chamba” could have its etymological origins in the word “Chamha” as it was known by the ancient [Ewe] Syrians and “Hama” by the Persians,  meaning “Sun-people,”1 or  literally “children of the Sun,” and more extant “Temple of the Sun.”  Referring to one of the oldest Mami temples located in the Swiaa desert in southwestern Egypt. This ancient Ompha  oracular temple was later usurped by the priests of Ammon and renamed “Temple of Ammon.” Nevertheless, the Fulani, Ewe and Da-Adangbe groups share an ancient cultural and, prior to its usurpation by  Mohammedan Islam, matriarchal spiritual history together.

The Fulani, Slavery and Divine Compensation

One version of the story claims that it was during the height of African patriarchy in which the forced usurpation of the original matriarchal clans/sibs that divided the Fulani groups, with many of the patriarchs adopting and imposing the new misogynistic Islam upon its resistant queen mothers and clan members.  Those who did not comply were tortured, killed or sold into slavery.  What distinguishes the Fulani from  other Africans who later participated in the West African slave trade, is that they were the first to establish  an organized system of commerce  in “chattel slavery”, which they began by selling off their own fellow ethnic clan members to the white Arabs and later to the Europeans. The Fulani were the major business intermediaries of slave commerce throughout Africa and made no compunction about selling those matriarchal clans who would not comply in converting to Islam. In the “New World”, on the island of Trinidad and in Tobago, the name “Chamba” and “Thiamba” still survives and is directly identified with the Fulani slave traders or the speakers of the Gur languages.

It is for this reason that the Fulani prefigure so strongly in the West African slave sibs of the Tchamba, heading the ancestral pantheon of elevated ancestors.  It is under Mami Awussa who have resurrected the souls of these matriarchs and  have eternally sentenced those who sold them to now serve their descendants as part of their divine restitution. In other words, it is claimed that in the underworld, it is the elevated ancestors of the ancient Fulanis who must compensate all of the victims of the slave trade and are responsible for retrieving and redirecting all enslaved Africans back to their ancestral clans/sibs.

This is what makes the Tchamba such a powerful ancestral system in America and elsewhere, because according to Mami Wata Vodoun cosmology, all Africans enslaved anywhere in the world are brought back under the domain of the Tchamba, who then re-aligns them back to their original bio-genetic ancestors. Thousands of Africans enslaved in America (such as the author)  were already of Tchamba spiritual heritage, their more ancient ancestors having descended from a more remote time period during the era of the matriarchs.  In Togo, to claim Tchamba “slave” lineage is now considered a badge of honor.

The above is excerpted from the book:  Mami Wata: Africa’s Ancient God/dess Unveiled    

                                    MORE READING AND RESOURCES

Mama Tchamba:  Why the Matter of Slavery & Compensation is Important   -(and other links)


Above: Mama Tchama as part of a grand Petatrotro [ceremony] in Togo, West Africa.

Tchamba ancestral spirits are some of the most powerful and ancient African Ancestors who subsume all Africans enslaved across the world. It is they who are responsible for some of the most important tools of divination, healing and individual paths toward “enlightenment.” It is they who actually possess the wealth and the blessings to bestow on all of their biological kin. They also possess the divine power of  judgement of ones life at the moment of  death.

When the Mama Tchamba “come down” to  “ride their horse” (descend )during ceremonial possessions, they come to mainly have [serious] fun and to dance as well as to celebrate their divine union with their kin. And other devotees in the community. They also come to  bring awareness and warnings of any danger to the family, healing and messages from other deceased kin and also prophecy.

In many respects, the Tchamba are more important than the Vodou, because they are the direct bio-cosmogenetic link to African people since the beginning of African civilization.

West African Vodoun is dominated by the Tchamba ancestral clans, due to Africa’s long history of slavery, and in more recent times, chattel slavery, where so many of their descendants have been scattered to America and to other lands.

  Today, within the Vodoun tradition, nearly of the major songs, and dances are dominated by the Tchamba. They have been calling their enslaved children around the world to return back to them and  their legitimate ancient gods.

 Today, many in the Diaspora are heeding that call, and are now learning and  being initiated to the Tchamba. Many report they have found the divine connection that they have been missing.  The power of the Tchamba is  that they cross all African Traditional spiritual systems, and  are a testament to the antiquity of both Africa and its peoples.                 


© Mama Zogbé. All Rights Reserved



Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via e-mail Print Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Bookmarks Share on LinkedIn Share on LiveJournal Share on Newsvine Share on Reddit Share on Stumble Upon Share on Tumblr

© Mama Zogbe All Right Reserved

Cover photo (above)(c)2010 by Acofin: The priestess in black, her ancestors are of the pre-Mohammed Muslims who descend from Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. These ancestors were the original owners of the Ka'aba, Book of Kore (Qu'ran), and its tradition before Mohammed usurped it. The others represent the major matriarchal "African root" families who formed after the fall of Egypt and other African empires and were forced to flee West.--Aneho, Togo, West Africa.