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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The impact of ritual on spatial behaviour: an archaeological perspective
Author:Agorsah, E.
Periodical:African Notes: Bulletin of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan
Geographic term:Ghana
death rites
prehistoric graves
Abstract:This essay discusses the spatial patterns generated by ritual within the traditional settlements of the Nchumuru of the northern Volta basin, Ghana. These patterns can be archaeologically observed and explained. An important social binder among the Nchumuru consists of their religious beliefs and concepts, and activities related to them. The authenticity of membership of a Nchumuru group is determined by a person's relationship with a 'kabuno' (core family group) and its shrine. Community, individual and family shrines are distinguished, as well as different shrine locations and their physical characteristics. 'Kabuno' shrines, Dente (a major god) shrines and twin shrines are all community shrines. Burial locations vary according to the deceased's status, type of death, age and life history. The positioning of the dead also varies. For the archaeologist, the distribution and location of the shrines provide some lead to the recognition of continuity in religious practices. Bibliogr.