Possession (Akom) as Sign of Calling and Method of Services of Traditional Ashanti Priests  Cover Image

Owładnięcie (akom) znakiem powołania oraz narzędziem wypełniania posługi tradycyjnego kapłana Aszantów
Possession (Akom) as Sign of Calling and Method of Services of Traditional Ashanti Priests

Author(s): Grzegorz Wita
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: African traditional religion; Ashanti; Ghana; spirit possession; mediumship; indigenous clergy; sacred rites; supernatural beings; vocation; trance

Summary/Abstract: The Ashanti people of Ghana call the phenomenon of spiritual possession akom. This fulfils the role of sign of calling and authentication of the function of specialist in rituals. The possession of a person by the spirit of his/her ancestor or a deity is at the foundations of his/her fulfilment of the cultic mission of medium, bringing others closer to the will of supernatural beings. It is therefore perceived as a positive and expected phenomenon. It must be correctly recognised and exploited, however. Akom makes divinative and healing practices possible. Possession is perceived by the Ashantis as individual as well as collective, prophylactic and therapeutic cultic activity. It becomes an occasion for integration of the community and renewal of the social order through unification, song and dance. The ecstasy of the traditional priest, which most often takes place during rituals, reflects and fulfils the dependence, connection and communication of the person with supernatural beings.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 44
  • Page Range: 71-84
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish