African Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of Africa


Fon Sickness God

Also known as Shakpana, Shankpana

Plague God of Smallpox and Insanity

He is mad, bad, and dangerous to know. The son of Yemaya, he’s one of the Orishas, but not a very nice one to be on the wrong side of. An old hobbling figure, he is responsible for inflicting smallpox and madness. Not at the same time. We think. Of course if you really upset him there’s no telling what he might do.

And whatever you do, avoid sesame seeds — these are cursed with his disease-ridden spirit. Yes, sesame seeds. Why do you think they look just like smallpox spots? If you bring sesame seeds into your house you are doomed. What a terrible plight for the inhabitants of Sesame Street.

There does not seem to be a cure for him. He also has a branch among the Xhosa under the name Sopona. All we can advise is to consult his Orisha associate Dr Babalú Ayé who may be able to perform a sesameseedectomy.

Historical update: In 1979 the World Health Organization declared that smallpox had been totally eradicated from this planet. Little do they know that Sakpata is working on a brand new version called largepox. He has already been blamed for the creation of AIDS, and he’s not one to be discouraged — his madness department has never been busier.

Sakpata Facts and Figures

Name: Sakpata
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Shakpana, Shankpana

Gender: Male
Type: God
Area or people: Fon people of Benin and Togo
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Disease & Sickness
Area of expertise: Disease, Sickness, Illness

Good/Evil Rating: BAD, best avoided
Popularity index: 10100

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Article last revised on November 03, 2018 by the Godchecker data dwarves.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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