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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Encyclopedia of the Dead: Transgenerational Memories and Cultural Transmission among the Akan of Ghana
Author:Aborampah, Osei-Mensah
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
oral traditions
oral literature
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:This paper is an exploration of the concept of transgenerational memory and its role in intergenerational cultural transmission among the Akan of Ghana. It concentrates on a number of key transgenerational memories and sites of memory of the Bono people in the Techiman (Takyiman) traditional area of the Brong Ahafo Region in order to reveal some of the meanings of selected sociocultural constructions and to assess the impact of social changes on their transmission. Such transgenerational memories can be understood as a sort of 'encyclopaedia of the dead', enshrining a wealth of accumulated knowedge and wisdom. The author gives short transcripts relating to memories of initial settlement; the Asante-Bono (Techiman) wars; and the death of Nana Ameyaw Kwakye. He also touches upon individual and family reminiscences, riddles (good memory developers), folktales, and libations. He also briefly addresses sites of memory, talking about the ancient Amowi Caves and the sacred grove of Amanfoomu. In the current atmosphere of modernity there is a tendency to play down the role of memory, but that so much is still remembered and used is a tribute to its societal value. Bibliogr., ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]