Some tribes in Liberia, a country in West Africa, believe that fetishes bring good luck to them.

The history of fetish charm

Fetishes among the Liberians have a long history. Before the luck charm was named fetish, it was referred to as gree-gree, and this name was commonly used in the Liberian coast. The word fetish can be traced back into the 16th century and was derived from a French word fetiche, which was derived from a Portuguese word feitico. This is a name that was given to small hand materials that they found the natives of the west coast of Africa using for worship materials. They derived the word Feitico from a Latin word factitius, which means to make or artificial. From the above history, it is therefore evident that the Liberians started using the fetish luck charm long ago, and as early as 1850, only that, it had a different name (gree-gree).

Why fetish charm bring luck

Some Liberians are still superstitious and attribute all their misfortunes to witchcraft and evil spirits. Therefore they believe that using the fetish charm traditionally known as gree-gree protects them from bad luck, which can be brought by the evil powers from the spirits and witches. In the eastern of Liberia, the Dan tribe use a buffalo mask to drive away evil and summon power.

How to use fetish charm

Liberians use the fetish charm differently. Some wear the charm around the neck. Others like the Dan of Eastern Liberia, who uses the buffalo mask, hang it in their houses or businesses.

How the fetish charm is made

Fetish charms come in different forms depending on the tribe or religion. The gree-gree on the Liberian coast is made from a piece of Arabic writing that is put in a leather bag which is ornamented by use of bird feathers, ropes, horns, animal skin, or beads. Others are made from wood carving which is ornamented with other features such as nails, horns, beads, feathers, fur, herbs, shells, and paint believed to add more power to it.

How to make fetish charm at home

Well, the materials that you need to make this charm will depend on the type you want to make. For instance, if you want the buffalo mask for power luck and to drive evil away, you need to curve the buffalo mask from wood, then ornament it with paint, horns, or beads. For the gree-gree charm, you need to get a small wood or stone with Arabic writings. Then, make a leather bag from animal skin, but the wood or stone with the writing in there, then again, ornament the bag with feathers, beads, or herbs, just to mention but a few.

Interesting and fun fact about the fetish charm

  • The Liberians use mirrors on the fetish charm as they believe that the mirror reflects away evil.