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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditional law and religion among the Bulsa of northern Ghana
Author:Schott, R.
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:African religions
customary law
Abstract:Exploration of some of the fundamental ethical and religious concepts central to traditional legal concepts and practices of the Bulsa of Ghana. Among the Bulsa, the ancestors possess the ultimate power by which they sanction positively or negatively the behaviour of their descendants. The elders, being nearest to them in age and status, are primarily held responsible for 'lawful' and 'orderly' conduct vis--vis the ancestors. Any misdemeanour will be punished by the ancestors by sending misfortune, sickness or even death on the evildoers. Gifts of sacrifices have to be donated to the ancestors in order to propitiate them. Apart from the ancestors, the Earth is considered by the Bulsa a sacred power which pursues anyone violating her sacred laws. Any deviation from the customary norms of behaviour may 'spoil the land'. Despite fundamental changes as a result of European colonial rule and the teachings of Christian missionaries, many traditional legal concepts and practices have survived to this day. Bibliogr., notes, ref.