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Remains of RitualNorthern Gods in a Southern Land$
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Steven M. Friedson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226265049

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226265063.001.0001

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The Poured Gift

The Poured Gift

(p.69) 3 The Poured Gift
Remains of Ritual
University of Chicago Press

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

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