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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Asante: Human Sacrifice or Capital Punishment? An Assessment of the Period, 1807-1874
Author:Williams, Clifford
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
ritual murder
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/219449
Abstract:Nineteenth-century accounts of Asante society (Ghana) are replete with references to human sacrifice. By examining source material on the Asante for the first three-quarters of the 19th century, the author assesses its reliability and shows how it was often written to satisfy a captive audience, and not cool-headed scholars making objective assessments. By discussing the Asante 'traditional' belief system, he shows how human sacrifice fits into that belief system. In looking at who was sacrificed, when and why, he aims to prove that I. Wilks (1975) was incorrect in treating all human sacrifice as capital punishment and argue that many human sacrifices were also judicial executions; the two events could be combined. Notes, ref. (A comment by Wilks is included on p. 443-452 under the title 'Asante: human sacrifice or capital punishment? a rejoinder'.)