Divinity in Akan Proverbs: The Concept of God

Samuel Amoh, Isaac Nyarkoh, Nicholas Obeng Agyekum

Abstract


This paper assesses the Akan conception of divinity as reflected in their proverbs. It considers the attribute of God from the lens of the Akan as highlighted in their proverbs and its bearing on their religious beliefs. The paper is a dilation of the Akan concept of God before the arrival of the early missionaries. It considers how the concept of divinity found manifestation in the Akan proverbs. This is because a society’s conception of God is the focal point that navigates their religious beliefs and beyond that, their socio-political endeavors (Agyarko, 2013). Human society’s perception of God and divinity forms the bases to direct their spheres of life. The Akan society has a belief not only in the supreme being but other supernatural creatures thus by divinity, the paper discusses the placement of the supreme being in relation to other deities in the framework of the Akan proverbs. Against the background of the complexity of the social life of the Akan society, the paper seeks to draw a relationship between the Akan conception of divinity and human behavior through the construction and conceptualization of divinity in Akan proverbs. To attain this, thirty (30) proverbs were sourced from the Akan setting and analysis made through focus group discussion to the conclusion that Akan perceive the Supreme Being to have sharable and non-sharable attributes. Moreover, most of the contemporary beliefs in religion have a close bond with the Akan concept of divinity which according to Idowu (1973), Olupona (1990), Bowler (1990), Geertz (2009) were described as primitive, retrogressive, fetish and superstitious.


Keywords


Proverbs; Divinity; Attributes; Sharable; Non-sharable

Full Text:

PDF

References


Agyarko, O. R. (2013). God of life: Rethinking the Akan Christian concept of God in the light of the ecological crisis. The Ecumenical Review, 65 (1), 51-66.

Agyekum, K. (2011). Akan Kasadwini. Accra: Dwumfour Publications.

Agyeman, B. C., Asumeng, A. M., & Amponsah, B. (2015). The relevance of Ghanaian Akan proverbs to explanations of contemporary human resource principles and corporate values. Journal of Business Research, 9

Amarachi, N. U., Egwu, R. O. U., & Ogechukwu, C. E. U. (2016). African traditional religious philosophy and life`s problems; Use of proverbs, idioms, wise sayings and folklores /myth. World Applied Sciences Journal, 34(3), 323-329.

Asante, E. K. A. (2002). Akan proverbs: Their origins, meanings and symbolic representation in Ghanaian material cultural heritage. Accra: Asempa Publishers.

Awuah N., S. (2009). Salvaging nature: The Akan religio-cultural perspective. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, 13, 251-282.

Bai, J. (2003). Inferential theories for factor models of large dimensions. Journal of Econometric Society, (71)1, 135-171.

Bibiebome, E. Z. (2010). Language shift and maintenance among Gas in Accra. (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Ghana, Accra.

Bowler, P. J. (1990). The Invention of Progress: The Victorians and the past. New York/ USA: B. Black Well.

Clarke, E. (1930). The Sociological Significance of Ancestor Worship in Ashanti, Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 3(4) 431-471.

Cox, R. W. (2007). “The International” in Evolution. Millennium, 35(3), 513–527.

Danquah, J. B. (1963). Religion in the Ghanaian Society. Paper presented at the Student Christian Movement Conference, Aburi, Ghana.

Diabah, G., & Amfo, N. A. P. (2018). To dance or not to dance: Masculinity in Akan proverbs and their implications for contemporary societies. Ghana Journal of Linguistics. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/gil.v7i2.8. Last accessed January 15, 2019.

Douglas, E. T. (2005). African traditional religion in the modern world. Mcfarland and Company Inc. Publishers.

Durkheim, E. (1933). Division of labor in society. Illinois: The Free Press of Glencoe.

Eshun, E. K. (2011). Religion and nature in Akan culture: A case study of Okyeman environment foundation. Canada: Queens University Kington, Ontario.

Essegbey, J. (2009). On assessing the ethnolinquistic vitality of Ga in Accra. In F. McLaughlin (Ed.), The language of urban Africa (pp.115-110). London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Geertz, C. (2009). The impact of the concept of culture on the concept of man. In J. P. Lizza (Ed.), Defining the beginning and end of life: Readings on personal identity and bioethics. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Guerini, F. (2008). Multilingualism and language attitudes in Ghana: a preliminary survey. Ethnorema. Anno IV, 4, 1-33, http://www.Ethnorema.it. Last accessed on January 15, 2019.

Idowu, E. B. (1973). African traditional religion, a definition. London: Greenwood Press.

Meider, W. (2004). Proverbs: A handbook. London: Greenwood Press.

Obeng, S. G. (2005). Akan and Nyo languages. In P. Stranzny (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Linguistics (pp.28-31). New York: Routledge.

Olupona, J. (1990). Beyond primitivism: Indigenous religious traditions and modernity: New York, London: Routledge.

Omenyo, C. N. (2001). Akan religion. In S. D. Glazier (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of African and African American Religions. New York / London: Routledge.

Omenyo, C. N. (2006). Pentecost outside Pentecostalism: A study of the development of charismatic renewal in the mainline churches in Ghana. Netherlands: Boekencentrum Publishing House.

Opoku, A. (1978). West African traditional religion: FEP International Private Limited.

Oudenhoven, J. P. V., De Raad, B., Carmona, C., Helbig, A., & Linden, M. (2012). Are virtues shaped by national cultures or religions? Swiss Journal of Psychology, 71 (1), 29- 34.

Parrinder, E. G. (1949). West African religion. London: Oxford University Press.

Pobee, J. S. (1979). Towards an African theology. Nashville: Abingdon.

Pobee, J. S. (1992). Skenosis: Christian Faith in an African Context. Gweru: Mambo Press.

Pritchard, E. (1965). Theories of primitive religion. Oxford: Clarendom Press.

Rattrary, R. S. (1927). Religion and art in Ashanti. London: Oxford University Press.

Simons, G. F., & Fenning, C. D. (Eds.) (2018). Ethnologue: languages of the world (21st ed.). Dallas, Taxas: SIL international. Online version http://www.ethnologue.com Last accessed on January 15, 2019

Wilks, I. (1988). Human sacrifice or capital punishment? A Rejoinder. The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 21(3), 444.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11382

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Samuel Amoh, Isaac Nyarkoh, Nicholas Obeng Agyekum

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Share us to:   


Reminder

How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.


We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; sll@cscanada.net; sll@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).

 STUDIES IN LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE Editorial Office

Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailoffice@cscanada.net; office@cscanada.org; caooc@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture