“The Àjé (Iyami) represents the mystical powers of the woman in her most dangerous and destructive form.

The dance of the GELEDE is the expression of the guilty conscience of men, stemming from a time when the matriarchic society became patriarchic. The great mystic power of the woman, originally used in a productive way for the working of the soil, etc., can be transformed into a destructive weapon.
Everything must therefore be done to calm the woman, appease her, and give her compensation for the loss of her political position. If Àjé was taken to be a wholly evil being and the enemy of society, the obvious recourse would be to hunt her down and kill them whenever possible. The Àjé are therefore not truly witches. They are the grandmothers, the angry mothers, and without their goodwill, Life itself would not be able to continue; without them, society would collapse.”
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