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General News of Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

How Anlos ‘fight’ bad juju

‘Juju’ is a term used to define an African spiritual belief system incorporating objects, such as amulets, and spells, mostly used in religious practice.

Whereas it has been described by many as superstitious, it appears to work in many cultural settings in Africa.
In Ghana, some ethnic groups include it in their religious practices.

In the Ewe system, for example, there are mechanisms in place to nullify the effects of ‘bad juju’; which essentially is spiritual tactics used for some selfish gains or to hurt others.

This was revealed by a historian and renowned Chief in Anlo, Togbi Kumassah.

Taking his turn on GhanaWeb’s People & Places show, he explained that some objects at a sacred site “Agowouonu” in Anloga serve the purpose of neutralizing the effects or turning back bad juju which is identified by community leaders as harmful.

The old shell of a sea turtle is used for such purposes. This was established he explained, during the consolidation of the Anlo states which was done at “Agowouonu”.

“There is an old shell of a sea turtle that is used when people here are having juju against one another, and the people realise that that juju is not very helpful to the community.

“For example, there was a time the women made juju which will make the men bear the pain of pregnancy and delivery and so if the woman is at the point of labour and about to deliver, it is the men who will bear the pain. But the men realized that this thing if it continues, they will not have many children because the pain was unbearable so it was made dysfunctional.

“There was another juju, such that, if I like you, for example, I’ll not talk to you, I’ll just say the word and you’ll run into my room and lie on my bed. But that was like forced marriage because if the spell breaks, then the woman becomes annoyed with the man,” Togbi Kumassah said.



Togbi Kumassah who also speaks for the Awoemefia, Togbi Sri II also noted that aside the sea turtle at Agowuonu, the site also has the grave of the first leader of the Ewes; Amega Wenya, and a mound (Legba) where some very important injunctions were set for the people of Anlo when they first settled on their lands.

“It was there (Agowouonu) that all the laws that will govern the Anlo state were given. That is why certain things which are taboos in Anlo are not taboos in other states.

“When they got to Anloga at Ag)wou)nu, Amega Wenya (their leader) read to them all the injunctions that will govern the Anlo state. It was there that they told them, one man cannot marry two sisters and also that, one sister cannot allow two brothers to get into them.

“It was also there that they told them, if you are a wife, you must be faithful because your husband established the house and if you are not faithful, you go and come back, you’ll become mad.

“They dug a hole and put some herbs and when all these things were said and people agreed, they slaughtered a ram, poured the blood on it and erected a mound; Lergba,” he further explained.

Watch the full interview here:

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