"Akan Religion" [in the Gold Coast]

p. 213 swallowing an egg; elephant’s ear

"An egg is touched to her mouth three times ...; she swallows it without chewing or biting through it.

{Snakes customarily swallow birds’ eggs without biting through them. "Kim Paek-mun ... held that the virginity of Eve n the Garden of Eden by taken by ... "the serpent" in Genesis." (MG, pp. 96-7)}

A female from her clan then brings three roasted pieces of an elephant’s ear and touches the mouth of the in initiate with them three times.

{"Ingomba, a Negro drum from Lower Guinea ...; covered at both ends with the skin of an elephant’s ear." (MM&F1, p. 53)} {[C^okwe] "Sympathetic medicines include an elephant’s ear that moves as the flame is to move" (MR&M, p. 103).}

This is done so that the girl will develop a womb similar to an elephant’s in order to bear many children."

{"the Chokwe word for furnace, lutengo, which also means vulva" (IG&P, p. 34).}

MG = Kirsti L. Nevalainen : Marriage with God : Shamanistic Rite of the Unification Church. [Tampere :] Mediapinta, 2009.

MM&F1 = Carl Engel : Musical Myths and Facts. Volume 1. London : Novello, Ewer, & Co, 1876. http://books.google.com/books?id=slsNAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA53&lpg=PA53&dq=

MR&M = Sandra Blakely : Myth, Ritual, and Metallurgy in Ancient Greece and Recent Africa. Cambridge U Pr, 2006. http://books.google.com/books?id=z2WjVXwTPCgC&pg=PA103&lpg=PA103&dq=

IG&P = Eugenia W. Herbert : Iron, Gender, and Power: rituals of transformation in African societies. IN U Pr, 1993. http://books.google.com/books?id=BVn5Nq7MIIgC&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=

p. 214 marriage to a spirit

"They are called obosomfo or okomfo; the latter refers to possession by spirits. In the literature, they are variously termed ... prophetesses or spirit mediums. ... They are the mouthpieces of the spirits ... . ... They become possessed by these spirits through entering a trance when carrying out daily activities alone or during religious ceremonies. The spirit possession is interpreted by diviners, and in most cases the interpretation is expressed in terms of "marriage" to the spirits."

p. 215 (training for priest[ess]hood)

"Leaves of the asoa tree are used to enable them to receive a "second sight" to "see" the spirits. Some of the leaves are also used to arouse the spirit possession if the ecstasy is slow at recurring.

The plants are gathered from a graveyard. An offering of ... eggs is placed in the pot and sent to the graveyard, whence the plants were taken.

"black hen's egg ... plus powders like Goofer Dust, Graveyard Dirt ... interred at a tree's roots or -- more often -- hidden in its hollow or crotch" ("LDT"). "dirt from a baby’s grave that never cried and some parched eggshell". "Go to the grave of a 12 year old child ... . ... After you do that you get a hen egg and break that egg" ("U&GGD"). "She was then buried and the eggs crushed and sprinkled around her grave." ("NOV")

The novice must go alone to that place at midnight and bathe with the herbs for seven nights. The bathing at the graveyard is to enable the novice to come into contact with the spirits of the Grandmothers."

"before the New Moon ... as Midnight approaches,

do thou bathe or shower to purify thyself" ("SR"). "uncrossing is done in a graveyard at the dark moon at midnight." ("URG") "Midnight ... the common-law wife of Dr. Buzzard, sits by his grave" ("NMNOV&H"). "The left hind foot of a graveyard rabbit killed at midnight in the full of the moon is good luck to the man who carries it." ("WHV")

"During the second year, the novice receives further instructions, and the various requirements of the spirits are revealed to her. She wears certain charms (asuman) and is informed of special practices attached to each. She, however, is not yet taught how to make the charms."

"In the third year, the novice is taught how to make spells and incantations, to hear and salute trees, and sometimes how to cure various diseases.

At the end of the training, a ceremony is performed, and the novice becomes a full priest[ess]. The ceremony starts in the evening ... . There is drumming ... . At midnight, the novice is sent to the river. She carries a large pot ..., with a torch set on top so that she can be seen. This rite is known as wonhyia, which literally means "should not meet." It is considered unlucky for the novice and her attendants to meet anyone while she is being led to the riverside. If she meets someone accidentally, the novice’s face is covered, and she leaves the path. At the bank of the river, the novice is bathed with water and given new clothes to wear."

"LDT" = "LAYING DOWN TRICKS" http://www.luckymojo.com/layingtricks.html

"U&GGD" = "USES AND GATHERING OF GRAVEYARD DIRT" http://www.mojomoon.net/hyatdirt.html

"NOV" = "New Orleans Voodoo" http://www.neworleansghosts.com/voodoo.htm

"SR" = "SPELLS for REVENGE" http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/black/revengespells.html

"URG" = "Uncrossing Ritual in the Graveyard" http://conjuredoctor.blogspot.com/2009/06/uncrossing-ritual-in-graveyard.html

"NMNOV&H" = "New Magazine about New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo" http://www.examiner.com/voodoo-in-new-orleans/a-new-magazie-about-new-orleans-voodoo-and-hoodoo

"WHV" = "Witchcraft, Hoodoo, Voodoo" http://arcane-archive.org/occultism/magic/folk/hoodoo/witchcraft-hoodoo-voodoo-1.php

p. 216 spirit-possession/mediumship session

"Remember the needs of those travelling,

-- those in childbirth

-- those under compulsion

-- those in deed of money

-- in need of children.


The prophetess danced as the orchestra played, and we all sang. ... It was rumored that the spirit of the lady possessor was that of a woman who had died giving birth to simultaneous twins. {Or, more possibly, of a goddess of whom such a myth is narrated.} Various people posed their questions and made their supplications, and the spirits spoke to them. Much later, the exhausted prophetess was carried out."

Elizabeth & Paul Adjin-Tettey : "Akan Religion". In :- Jordan Paper (ed.) : Through the Earth Darkly. Continuum, NY, 1999. pp. 207-218.