Remains of Ritual: Northern Gods in a Southern Land

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 2009 - Social Science - 272 pages

Remains of Ritual, Steven M. Friedson’s second book on musical experience in African ritual, focuses on the Brekete/Gorovodu religion of the Ewe people. Friedson presents a multifaceted understanding of religious practice through a historical and ethnographic study of one of the dominant ritual sites on the southern coast of Ghana: a medicine shrine whose origins lie in the northern region of the country. Each chapter of this fascinating book considers a different aspect of ritual life, demonstrating throughout that none of them can be conceived of separately from their musicality—in the Brekete world, music functions as ritual and ritual as music. Dance and possession, chanted calls to prayer, animal sacrifice, the sounds and movements of wake keeping, the play of the drums all come under Friedson’s careful scrutiny, as does his own position and experience within this ritual-dominated society.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2009)

Steven M. Friedson is Regents Professor of Music and Anthropology at the University of North Texas and the author of Dancing Prophets: Musical Experience in Tumbuka Healing, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Bibliographic information