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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Calendar and ritual: the Mamprusi case
Author:Drucker-Brown, SusanISNI
Periodical:Systèmes de pensée en Afrique noire
Geographic term:Ghana
Abstract:The Mamprusi (northern Ghana) associate each lunation with the celebration of a specific festival on the 19th day after the sighting of the new moon. Since 12 lunations do not make up a solar year, any given festival moves slowly across the seasons, independently of farming, hunting and fishing. The calendar mainly expresses a concern with hierarchy and office. Normally hierarchically ordered in pairs, the approximately 12 lunations in a year are subordinate to an unpaired lunation, called 'fire', capable of destroying the others. During major festivals, the names of deceased rulers are sung, and the king moves in a prescribed manner through the space in and near his palace: the court is part of an ordered cosmos wherein the monarch's sacred person represents the sun. The passage of time is reckoned in periods some of which are bioo (dangerous). During these recurring periods of danger, certain prohibitions must be observed. This concept of bioo and the related system of prohibitions unify the different intervals of measured time and emphasize the uniqueness of the king. Bibliogr., notes, sum. also in French p. 191.