The Vodoun spiritual system is an ancient sacerdotal system composed of many pantheons and ethnicities who span the entire West African region. Amongst, the Fon in Benin, they claim a “pope or chief supreme of the Vodoun”. However, this political title is recognized amongst the Fon people, and is not recognized nor does its authority extend to the Ewe or other more ancient Vodoun groups.
It is important to keep in mind that the Ewe are the major ethnic group and the Fon are a subgroup or cousin of the Ewe. Additionally, the Vodoun has been practiced amongst the Ewe hundreds (if not thousands) of years before there ever was a Dahomey or Benin.
It is also important to note that the Fon descendants who would later establish the Dahomean empire, first originated in Adja-Tado around the 13th century. Adja is the ancient name of the Ewe/Mina groups, and Tado, located in south-eastern Togo along the Mono River, is where the Fon first originated , before fleeing to establish Dahomey and later Benin.
It is also important to note that the Adangme, were the original indigenous inhabitants of what later became “Dahomey,” had already established a long running royal Vodoun dynasty long before the Fon arrived and intermarried and later overthrew it. Additionally, the Awoamefia, political chieftainship of the Ewe, is still located in south-eastern Togo, of which the Ewe recognize.
In summary, the idea of a “Chef Supreme of the Vodoun, ” is popular myth that has more political and economic incentives, rather than a historical basis. This myth is widely established in the West, and is also blindly accepted by those who have not done the research. The Ewe as other Vodoun clans do not travel to Benin to worship or honor any chef supreme. In fact, many often do not even know the name of its latest “chef.”
You can read more here, for more information on the history of Vodoun in Benin and its popular myths.