n Institute of African Studies Research Review - Rites, rituals and recreation in early Accra : a congeries Johannes Rask's observations 1708-1713

Supplement 7
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



For more than two centuries Europeans lived and worked on the Gold Coast, and wrote a number of books upon their return to their homelands. These books were descriptions of the authors' experiences, observations of virtually all facets of life among the Africans with whom they had come into contact. For Accra, it is the works of the Danes that would be of greatest interest for descriptions of early Accra and its surrounds. <br>One of these Danes, Johannes Rask, was the chaplain at Christiansborg 1708-13. He, too, wrote of many aspects of life in early Accra. He was keenly observant, and wrote extensively on many matters: religious worship, marriage customs, burial customs, rituals around childbirth, celebrations, healing, and much about plants and animals. I shall cull examples of the rules of comportment, rituals at rites of passage and at annual celebrations, and recreation. <br>As did others, Rask makes attempts at explaining rites, symbols, gestures. These analyses are as seen through the eyes of a Lutheran minister, or based on what he was told.

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