n Institute of African Studies Research Review - Power and protest : priesthood among the Fante-Akan

Supplement 9
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



The phenomenon of female priesthood, which has been an integral part of Ghanaian and most West African traditional religious cultures, has in recent times become a central focus of reference by other religious denominations in their agitation, submissions and arguments for women's ordination or gender equity. This notwithstanding, contemporary African Traditional Religions (ATRs) and their religious officials continue to suffer persistent denigration as in the past. This paper briefly outlines the concept of priesthood and the training procedure among the Fante specifically and the Akan generally. A divine call is mostly a prerequisite for entry into the office. The study observes that at one end of the ideological spectrum most Christians in Ghana still regard indigenous religions and their personnel as evil and anachronistic, which at best should be abolished; at the other end the same people are apt to substantiate and appropriate aspects of ATRs in the development and transformation of their own religious beliefs and practices.

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