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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:God and Sacrifice in the Traditional Religions of the Kasena and Dagaba of Northern Ghana
Author:Der, Benedict G.
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:African religions
sacrificial rites
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Abstract:The Kasena and the Dagaba live in the north-east and north-west of Ghana respectively. Also in Upper Volta there are many Kasena and Dagaba. Their customs and religious practices are identical to those of their neighbours in Ghana. As agriculturalists they depend heavily upon the rainfall for good harvests. There are only two seasons in this savanna region of West Africa: the rainy and dry seasons. Both Kasena and Dagaba believed that God gave the necessary rain for cultivation. Thus just before the onset of the wet or rainy season, sacrifices were normally made to God either directly or indirectly through the ancestors in order to obtain rain. In accounts of African traditional religions, anthropologists have tended to stress the view that Africans do not sacrifice directly to God but to their ancestors. Purpose of this article is to show that among the Kasena and the Dagaba sacrifice did not follow the general pattern outlined by anthropologists but that it had God as its ultimate objective. Notes.