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Title: Slavery in memory : a study of the religious practices of the Anglo-Ewe
Author: Venkatachalam, Meera.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3545 5783
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis focuses on the manner in which the memory of the slave-holding past is kept alive by the Anlo-Ewe of south-eastern Ghana. A religious cult, called Fofie or Krachi Dente, serves as the platform through which the Anlo-Ewe engage with the aftermath of slave-holding: association with the cult is believed to correct the practical and spiritual problems that arose from the forced integration of slaves and their descendants into their host society (Anlo). The ghosts of slavery appear to be a uniquely Anlo-Ewe phenomenon, as most other West African societies do not appear to be troubled by their slave-holding pasts in this manner. The question of how and why the memory of slavery persists in the Anlo-Ewe religious and historical imagination is examined through an interrogation of three inter-related themes: Religion, Memory and History. The current memory practices of this cult, and themes addressed through them, form an important part of this study. Interestingly, Krachi Dente, a religious movement, actually entered Anlo from areas outside the chiefdom in the 1930s, and merged with the existing Fofie cult, loosely associated with the slave-holding past, which resulted in a renewal of a corpus of 'pagan' practices after almost eight decades of Christian missionary activity. This thesis sets the development of the cult against the backdrop of Anlo religious history, to examine why the problems caused by slave-holding appear to have become existential concerns in Anlo around this period. In addition, this study also seeks to explain how colonization, conversion to Christianity, experiments with 'modernity' and regional identity politics, actually provided suitable conditions for the proliferation of a religious cult that derived its legitimacy from the memory of the slaveholding past. The method through which this cult slotted itself into the Anlo religious system, by adopting structural and practical strategies for its survival over the last century, is also analyzed
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available