Voudon which means spirits in the languages of Fon and Ewe. Voudon is known to be practiced by the Fon people of Benin, southern and central Togo, Ghana and Nigeria. The Voudon is very distinct from other traditional African religions. It has similar names and other religions founded after it such as the Haitian Vodun, Dominican Vudu, Cuban Vodú, Brazilian Vodum, Puerto Rican Vudu and Louisiana voodoo. They believe that their spirits rule over the natural things and the human societies. They have some similarity with the Roman Catholic Church such as the angels and the intercession of the saints. Their way of worship includes the use of various dialects, songs, practices, rituals and spirits. They have a creator whom which they call Mawu or Mahu. She is female. It is believed that she rules over all the other gods. A temple isn’t built for her but worshippers of Voudou still worship her especially in their times of distress. In the Voudou religion, it is believed that all creation of the earth is divine and holds the power of the divine. Their talisman has objects called fetishes such as statues and they are sold for their healing practices and spiritual rejuvenation. They worship their ancestors and they believe that the spirit of the dead lives with them.
The Palo Mayombe on the other hand is a Spanish religion that originated during the slave era in Cuba in the 1500s. They have a strong belief in the veneration of spirits and the use of earthly and supernatural powers. The Palo Mayombe religion has its roots dated back to the Congo basin of central Africa. They make use of priests called Paleros. The male priest is called Tata while the female priest is called Yayas. Their members are called Ngueyos or Pino Nuevo. The Palo Mayombe have different gods called the Nkisi. The Palo is a Spanish word that means stick because they use sticks to prepare their altars. Their altars are their most important form of divination. This altar is called Nganga or la Cadero. Their rituals are usually performed on this altar and only the spirit whose altar they prepare is called upon. In their rituals they make use of various music which is being played by a wooden percussion and the use of drums. They also make use metallic objects such as plows and hoes. The initiation into the Palo Mayombe is not very easy. You have to undergo a sacred ceremony.
The Palo Mayombe is far different from the Voudou. Although they have some similarities in the aspects of the belief that the spirits live within them. It is often thought that the Palo Mayombe originated from the Voudou. The Palo Mayombe evolved single handedly. The Voudon is traced to the roots of the African region but the Palo Mayombe can’t be traced to the Central African region. It came before the Voudou. The Palo Mayombe is more powerful and more effective than the Voudou religion.