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Ancestral Veneration of the Akan Community - Essay Example

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The Akan community includes the numerous tribes in Ghana, a country located at the Gulf of Guinea. Although the country is divided into ten different tribes, the Akan ethnic group is attributed to be the major tribe to which most of the Ghanaians belong. …
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Ancestral Veneration of the Akan Community
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Download file to see previous pages The Akan community includes the numerous tribes in Ghana, a country located at the Gulf of Guinea. Although the country is divided into ten different tribes, the Akan ethnic group is attributed to be the major tribe to which most of the Ghanaians belong. It is impossible to discuss about the Ghanaian culture without mentioning the Akan ethnic group in the discussion. The Akan community was a larger tribe that involved various different tribes that included the Nzima, the Fante, the Akim, the Brong, and the Asante. The West African communities have a rich diversity of cultures ranging from religion to cultural practices. The day of the dead for instance was a cultural and traditional Voodoo that incorporated synergistic religion between Catholicism and African tradition that has survived in the trans-Atlantic voyage and it is practiced up to today. The ancestors were significant in the local Akan community and variety of beliefs and cultural activities were conducted in their commemoration. In their harvest festivals, the Akan community incorporated ancestral worship as they regarded that the ancestors as well as their gods had a huge hand in the production of the bumper harvest they had attained. In these festivals, the community is encouraged to spiritually connect with their ancestors as well as their gods. The cultural ceremonies were conducted in various respected grounds that included; the sacred grounds, the river banks by the roadside or any other respected grounds where the traces of the ancestors could be traced or believed to have existed. The Akan’s Cultures and ancestors The Akan community is generally regarded as one of the Gold Coast community. The Akan community was composed of different sub-groups that shared a common membership in terms of culture and language within the larger Akan community. This however does not mean that there existed a smooth and proper understanding between the different sub-groups within the Akan community. Intense rivalry existed between the various sub-groupings in the Akan community that made it difficult for the smooth operation of the umbrella community. The social organization of the Akan people was founded on the foundations of families, clans, and villages. This therefore indicated that as an Akan certain attributes of cultures were shared, as it is within these cultures that the various sub-groupings are identified from (Lentz and Nugent, 2000, p. 8). The ancestors played a critical role in the daily life of the Akan community. Having walked on the face of the earth in human form, they were regarded as ancient people who were full of knowledge and experience. Among the Akan Community, the ancestors were referred to as Nsamanfo or in other words the old people. Life after death was a cultural belief among the Akan community, as upon death the body of the deceased is believed to continue with its existence in a spiritual world called the Asamando. In the cultural context of the Akan, the ancestral spirits are feared while at the same time they are respected and loved. They were believed to be omnipresent, as they still exist after death but in spiritual world. In the order of supremacy, the ancestors were ranked third after the Supreme Being and the Asase Yaa respectively. The ancestors according to the Akan people are mandated with the responsibility of intervening between the Supreme Being and the human beings. Each family in the Akan community had ancestors that were directly linked to that particular family. This is despite the fact that whether the family knew them or not. Apart from providing a link between the humans and the Supreme Being, the ancestors were attributed to offering of protection, guidance, and care to the living members of the family. They were called upon in times of need through cultural rituals. However if ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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