Understanding the Traditional Art of the Gold Coast


p. 21 antelope-god

"The Tufuafo god is represented by an antelope carrying a bird's nest between its horns."

Cf. Maya deer-god carrying bees' nest between its horns

p. 22 divination

"On ... Sunday, the high priest of Penkye Otu foretells the future by throwing red, white, and black balls ... on a board."

p. 21 "deer (wansan) that incarnates the god (obosom) Penkye Otu."

p. 38 gold

"gold nuggets representing the souls of royal ancestors."

p. 39 chair

"Whenever an elderly man gets off his chair or stool, he turns it against the wall so that no evil spirit will sit on it to charm him."

Cf. Borneo widows & widowers sit facing the wall so that they will not bewitch passers-by.

"By using mystical powers, people ... can walk barefoot on broken bottles, walk through fire, ..."

Cf. Pacific islander (Maori, etc.) fire-walking

p. 40 witches

"A witch usually walks on her head. She can fly naked in the night, emitting sparkling particles of fire or embers."

Cf. Hebrew invocation of upside-down ghosts

p. 40 promiscuity

"While a priest may marry, a priestess may not, but she may have sexual intercourse."

Cf. former custom in Borneo & Korea for shamaness to have sexual intercourse with male clients.

p. 40 terms






spiritual powers

p. 44 [preta-s]

"People who die through accidents are believed to have bad spirits (sasa). They are described as the fallen ones (atofo), who wander about as bad ghosts (saman-twentwen) ..."

p. 44 hunting

"A funeral for animals ... is also performed to honor ... big game, which is believed to have a soul (sasa).

The animals include the



bush cow








black duiker

(ewio), and

yellow-backer duiker


Emmanuel V. Asihene: Understanding the Traditional Art of Ghana. London: Associated University Presses, 1978.