Mawu-Lisa are deities the Fon people believed created Earth. Mawu, female, represents the moon while Lisa, male, the sun.
The Fon equally respected masculinity and femininity, the basis for The Woman King’s storyline.
#2: Ifa vs. Fon
Ifa is a Yoruba religion. Ifa worships a supreme being, Olodumare, while also honoring deities known as Orisha, and ancestors.
While the film references Ifa, some critics pointed out that Fon spiritual practices were used but not credited. For example, Mawu-Lisa are Fon, but within Ifa they’d be the Orishas, Obatala and Odoudouwa.
#3: Altar Worship & Offerings
The overlap gets further muddled within the film because both religions use similar methods of physical worship. Both incorporate altars and offerings to Orisha (Ifa) or Loas (Fon). Offerings can be food, money, objects, or animal sacrifices.
The film showcased a beautiful ritual garden used for worship, unity, and paying homage to dead warriors.
#4: Burial Rituals
One burial ritual shown was when a warrior died a figurine was placed on their body, ensuring possibility for reincarnation.
The Woman King was powerful but further proves the importance of researching African religions before practicing them.
But after generations of anti-Blackness erasing our spiritual histories entirely, we applaud the film’s creative team and cast for the details they were able to portray.
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