Dancing with the Gods: Essays in Ga Ritual explores cosmological concepts and ritual actions of the Ga people of southeastern Ghana through case studies of calendrical agricultural rites, social status transition rites, and redressive rites. Based on fieldwork in the 1960s, the essays present descriptive analyses of verbal and non-verbal ritual action. While verbal ritual actions specify ideas pertinent to a particular rite, non-verbal ritual actions express more general concepts. Kilson's analyses show how the same motifs of non-verbal ritual action recur in sacred and secular Ga rites. Whenever and wherever such motifs occur, they convey the same basic underlying Ga concepts, thereby creating a unified conceptual network of belief that is the foundation of the Ga ritual system. The essays in this collection previously appeared in Anthropos, Journal of African Studies, Journal of Religion in Africa, Parabola, and Sextant.
Preface Chapter 1. Libation in Ga Ritual Chapter 2. Taxonomy and Form in Ga Ritual Chapter 3. The Structure of Ga Prayer Chapter 4. "I Call You for Life" Chapter 5. Prayer and Song in Ga Ritual Chapter 6. Ritual Portrait of a Ga Medium Chapter 7. Ambivalence and Power: Mediums in Ga Religion Chapter 8. Homowo: Celebrating Community in Ga Culture Chapter 9. Bushcows in the Sky Chapter 10. Twin Beliefs and Ceremony in Ga Culture Chapter 11. The Ga Naming Rite Chapter 12. Antelopes and Stools: Ga Ceremonial Kingship Concluding Note Bibliography