The God of the Earth

In a context conceived by Guido Dettoni to create the visual representation of SAKPATA, the God of the Earth in Dahomey, Presently Republic of Benin, Western Africa, he gathered a few children for an initial essay and to test the use of natural local wax.

The performance began on a beach in Cotonou with four children, a storyteller, and a percussionist.  After a preparatory dance, the children, blindfolded and not wanting to represent anything, mold wax that takes shape in their hands while listening to SAKPATA singing accompanied by tam-tam.

The story ends. The movements of the hands stop. The wax has reached its final form as an unconscious witness of content and emotion.

The shapes submerged in water, to harden by cooling, are the result of the experience together with their memory.

Upon returning to Europe, Guido Dettoni took pictures of the shapes, each one from a different perspective. He imported them into the software he had designed.  Thus, the TRANSMUTATION began.    

Modifying their relative sizes, he composed a sectioned image, which mirrors itself. The entire body of SAKPATA was then formed by the union of the two symmetrical parts, placed on his side to become his guardians.  

This visual representation of SAKPATA results from transmuting the images of various tactile forms shaped in wax.

The Enigma: In 1992, Guido Dettoni creates the sculpture MATER TERRA

The hands penetrate the matter; they hold it and join each other. Mother Earth is born in the hands like a unity whose mirror image is only a reflection of itself, while every hand contains the symmetrical half. 

In an act of Kismet, it was discovered that the MOTHER EARTH between hands coincides with the head of SAKPATA.

Which other head could the God of the Earth have, this son of Mawu-Lisa, other than Mother Earth herself?


Le son du vent t’accueille,

la voix du vide.


le nom du dieu,

la terre qui germe,

paysage minéral,

son immense battement

que tu écoutes

et tu reproduis

dans la peau

Jusqu’en devenir l’interprète.

Entre les mains resurgit

l’ancienne forme cachée dans  l’esprit,

abritée par l’aire,

et maintenant, régénérée par le toucher

devient matière.

S’étalent les silences

sur la mer de la lumière.

Du fond des yeux

se modèle le corps du dieu.

Son souffle s’éloigne,

il retourne vers l’infini.

Je confis aux mains

morceaux de temps,

restes de rêve,



Poésie de
Carles Duarte i Montserrat
Avril de 1999