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Sacred Sites and the Colonial Encounter: A History of Meaning and Memory in Ghana Hardcover – May 14, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (May 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 025334073X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253340733
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,706,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This scholarly study explores the wide-ranging political and religious ramifications of German and British colonial rule over the Ewe-speaking Anlo people in southern Togo and southeastern Ghana. German Pietists from the Bremen Mission dominated the region from the mid 19th century until ousted by the British during WW I. The Germans translated the Bible into Ewe and, by applying their own völkisch (volkisch) notions to the natives, disrupted the long-term spiritual affinity between the Ewe-speaking and Akan-speaking communities in the Anlo polity. Moreover, by appropriating the town of Notsie, they desecrated the home of Mawu, the chief Anlo diety. Ewe-Anlos were told to abandon primitive customs like burying their dead under their houses and retaining faith in magic and fetishes and to take up European culture and religion if they ever hoped to become civilized. Adoption of European practices, however, rarely guaranteed acceptance. Instead, colonial pressure resulted in frustration, passive resistance, and, sometimes, open rebellion. Through it all, Greene notes, old meanings and sacred sites were not forgotten. Retained in bits and pieces, they now constitute the very foundation upon which the new is made sensible. Includes maps and photographs; highly recommended for all levels and collections. —W. W. Reinhardt, Randolp" —Macon College, 2003jan CHOICE

(Macon College, 2003jan CHOICE)

About the Author

Sandra E. Greene is Associate Professor of African History at Cornell University. She is author of Gender, Ethnicity, and Social Change on the Upper Slave Coast: A History of the Anlo-Ewe and is working on a book on religion in the Atlantic slave trade. She is past-president of the African Studies Association.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A nice piece about Anlo Ewe sacred sites, their meaning and memory. Contains few inaccuracies though.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Energy48 on October 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is very misleading and greatly distorts the Ewe people's history. To give an example, it speaks of Akwamu people originated from Notsie same as the Ewe people. This is patently false. The Akwamu are part of the Akan people and have no relationship whatsoever with Ewes.

Also the books says there was no Ewe identity before the German Breman mission arrived in 1847. This is so misleading. The Ewes are one continuum (separated by dialect) who spread from the Volta Region of Ghana, includes the people of Togo and Dahomey all the way to Western Nigeria. This has always been the case and it is astonishing the author failed to grasp such basic understanding of the Ewe people and proceeds to put out such distorted and misleading information about a people's history into the public domain.
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