Culture September 26, 2018 at 04:31 am

Before modern courts, here is how African communities handled conflicts

Nduta Waweru September 26, 2018 at 04:31 am

September 26, 2018 at 04:31 am | Culture

Photo: Africani Sankofa


This Ghanaian community living in the Bakwu region believe that conflict is an infringement on the gods and spirits of the land.  When such conflict arises, there is a need to carry out relevant rituals to appease the gods and avoid calamity on humanity.

The ritual involves blood-shedding and cleansing to pacify the land. In most cases, a goat and a cock are killed and used with a locally brewed beer called pito. The animals would later be eaten by the warring parties as a sign that they are ready to resolve their conflict.  According to reports,

Tindaanas (chief priests) of the respective areas normally perform these rites with the invocation of incantations calling on the spirit of the earth god to forgive us humans for we have erred against her (the earth-god). This rite (Blood-collecting and blood cleansing) is important since it is the first step to
making peace in any conflict situation. Failure to accomplish this rite renders the subsequent rites null and void.

The second rite is the burial of objects, including an okro stalk, which is sacred to the earth spirit, as a sign that fighting and bloodshed has come to an end.  Anyone who breaches this peace is thus punished by death.

Once these are done, the parties can now join in merrymaking.


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