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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'A Mighty Obstacle to the Gospel': Basel Missionaries, Krobo Women, and Conflicting Idea of Gender and Sexuality
Author:Steegstra, Marijke
Year:2002
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Volume:32
Issue:2
Pages:200-230
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:missions
gender relations
Krobo
girls' initiation
sexuality
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
Cultural Roles
Historical/Biographical
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1581761
Abstract:To this day, the Krobo people in highly Christianized Southern Ghana celebrate their annual girls' initiation rites ('dipo'). However, the rites have been a much contested matter ever since the arrival of the Basel missionaries, who strongly objected to 'dipo'. The author investigates the 19th-century encounter between the Basel missionaries and the Krobo by focusing on 'dipo'. An ethno-historical analysis of 'dipo' provides a valuable entry point into investigating the interaction of the mission with Krobo people, and issues of mission, gender, and identity. The striking intersection between 'traditional' Krobo and the Basel missionaries' concerns was women's sexuality and morality. Their conflicting ideas about gender and sexuality are the key to answering the question of why one of the most lingering conflicts originating from missionary attempts to redefine the life patterns of the Krobo revolves around the 'dipo' rites. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. (Journal abstract)
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