The Poured Gift

in Remains of Ritual

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780226265049
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226265063 | DOI:
The Poured Gift

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Of all the animals sacrificed to the gods, cows are by far the most significant and expensive. It is the only time when the gods are taken from their kpomewo, gathered into a large basin, and brought outside to be fed; it is the only time when they touch each other, not an insignificant occurrence; and, perhaps most of all, it is a time of great celebration and feasting. When the gods are well fed, they are happy, and when the gods are happy, the shrine and its members prosper. Though animal sacrifices are common, a cow sacrifice actually is a fairly rare occurrence. It involves much more than merely supplying a cow, and, due to the heavy costs involved, most Ewe people will try to put off such a sacrifice for as long as possible. This chapter focuses on the animal sacrifices being conducted at the Brekete shrine in Ghana, and discusses sacrifice and libation in West Africa.

Keywords: gods; cows; animal sacrifices; Brekete shrine; Ghana; libation; West Africa; Ewe people

Chapter.  12230 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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