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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ethnicity, religion, and conflict in Ghana: the roots of Ga nativism
Author:Asante, Richard
Periodical:Ghana Studies (ISSN 1536-5514)
Geographic term:Ghana
Abstract:There have been frequent disputes and conflicts in Ghana between adherents of Ga traditional religion and some Christian churches over the annual ban on drumming and noise-making which is traditional to the annual harvest festival celebrated by various Ga communities to usher in the farming season. This article explores the underlying causes of the conflict within the broader framework of horizontal inequalities - that is inequalities between culturally defined groups. It argues that the sporadic clashes and conflicts between adherents of Ga traditional religion and some Christian churches in Accra is not only about religious or cultural differences per se, but that religion and culture are used as avenues for expressing a deeply rooted feeling of marginalization of the Gas in their own land. Beneath the issue of the ban are profound grievances nurtured over time by the Ga people of Ghana. The first and second sections of the article focus on the methodology used and a review on some of the key perspectives and frameworks for analyzing conflicts in Africa. Next follows an examination of the importance of cultural and religious issues in Ghana. Section four provides an overview of the ethnic and religious structure of Ghana and Accra and the fifth section highlights the incidence of violent clashes between Ga traditionalists and their supporters and a section of the Christian community in Accra. The author also explores and analyzes perceptions of inequalities and underlying causes of the conflict. The last section draws some conclusions on the linkages between culture, religion and horizontal inequalities, and conflict. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]