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Dente's Grotto


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(Ewe/Ghana)

Dente is the God of Krachi.

People come from distant places and ask Dente to advise them concerning their sicknesses and other troubles. He has two priests: a public one, whom everybody knows, and a mysterious, unknown one, an oracle. This god may be approached every seventh day. His dwelling is a cave, and the path by which one reaches it from the town is swept. On the day fixed for visiting the god, the mysterious priest goes into the cave. Gourd-gongs, hand drums, flutes, and other musical instruments begin to sound loudly. The people then go to the edge of the cave, sitting with their backs to the cave's opening; no one may look into it. When they are seated, they hear the god's bells ringing in the cave. Then the crowd is greeted. The entrance to the cave where the god lives is covered. The public priest sits at the entrance; he, too, may not turn and look into the cave. When the oracle speaks, he passes his words on to the crowd. He is the spokesman for Dente, king of all gods; the mysterious priest speaks the words, and the public priest passes them on to the people.

Subjects: Religion.


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