Bight of the Twin
Hazel Hill McCarty III, USA, 2014



In the search for the origin of Vodun in Ouidah, Benin, GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE is serendipitously initiated into the ‘Twin Fetish’.


Bight of the Twin (2014) by HAZEL HILL McCARTHY III


Cultural engineer, GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE is serendipitously initiated into the ‘Twin Fetish’ – a practice within Vodun that honors twins. Through a series of ceremonies, GENESIS reaffirms an eternal bond with h/er late wife and Pandrogyne partner, LADY JAYE BREYER P-ORRIGDE. This is a deeply interdimensional connection of alternative Western culture in tangent with ancient African ritual. In this story we begin to see the link between Pangrogyny and the ‘Twin Fetish’, an activation of a complete state, and in fact the true fundamentals of Vodun religion.


In Benin, which has the highest national average of twins per birth*, twins carry a sacred meaning. When one twin passes away, the living twin remembers its spirit by carrying around a small, carved replica of their dead brother or sister. The deceased twin is described as ‘having gone to the forest to look for wood’. This engaged and very public approach to grief and loss is in stark contrast to the closeted Victorian values that Western culture has been saddled with.


Transcending assumptions of what it means to be “gendered”, lead character, GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE, embodies a re-union and re-solution of male and female, seeking to perfect a hermaphroditic state through Pandrogyny. GENESIS and LADY JAYE underwent a series of surgical procedures to become gender-neutral human beings that looked identical to one another. In 2007 LADY JAYE passed away and “dropped h/er body”. Since that time GENESIS has continued to represent the amalgam BREYER P-ORRIDGE in the material world while LADY JAYE represents the amalgam BREYER P-ORRIDGE in the immaterial world creating an ongoing inter-dimensional collaboration.


By exploring their non/all-gender we begin to see the link between Pangrogyny and the ‘Twin Fetish’. As the French anthropologist, MICHEL CARTRY, wrote in 1973, “Twins are a reminder and an incarnation of the mythical ideal. It is as though they are representatives of a state of ontological perfection, a state which the non-twins have completely lost. The first living creatures were couples of twins of opposite sexes. The loss of twin hood… is the price that man had to pay for a sin committed by one of the ancestors. But the birth of twins is a reminder of that happy condition, and that is why it is celebrated everywhere with joy”.


* Jeroen Smits, Christiaan Monden. Twinning across the Developing World. PLoS ONE, 2011





The term Vodun from the Fon verbs vo “to rest” and dun “to draw water,” referencing the necessity to remain calm when facing whatever difficulties may lie in one’s path. (Suzanne Preston Blier, African Vodun. Art, Psychology, and Power, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1995, p. 39 and 40.)


Vodun means “spirit”; a divine essence that governs the Earth, a hierarchy that ranges in power from major deities governing the forces of nature and human society to the spirits of individual streams, trees, and rocks, as well as dozens of ethnic vodun, defenders of a certain clan, tribe, or nation.


Vodun has over 4 million followers throughout Benin and in 1996 it was recognized as a national religion.