An anthropological study of the health system of the Dagara people of northern Ghana and southern Burkina Faso, Of Life and Health develops a cultural and epistemological lexicon of Dagara life by examining its religious, ritual, and artistic expressions. Consisting of ethnographic descriptions and analyses of six Dagara cultic institutions, each of which deals with different aspects of sustaining and transmitting life, the volume gives a holistic account of the Dagara knowledge system.
Alexis Bekyane Tengan is an independent scholar in social and cultural anthropology resident in Belgium. He has taught for many years both in Belgium and in his native Ghana, and he now curates a private museum of sacred art and objects with studios in both countries. His publications include the Mythical Narratives in Ritual: Dagara Black Bagr (2006) and Art of Mythical Composition and Narration: Dagara White Bagr (2012).
List of Figures
List of Tables
Introduction: About Life and Health
Chapter 1. Scientific Language, Knowledge Frameworks and Ways of Reasoning
Chapter 2. Life Animation and Transmission: The Language of the Ancestors
Chapter 3. Life Resources, Sustenance, and Growth: The Language of the Spirit and Life-Force of Nature (k¿nt¿nme)
Chapter 4. Health Delivery and Healing Processes: The White Bagr Healing Cult and the Food Domain
Chpater 5. Health Delivery and Healing Processes: The Black Bagr Healing Cult and the Domain of Healing Toxins, the Inedible and Undomesticated
Chapter 6. Language and Cultural Ideation of Healing: The Healer and the Healing Cult (Tibr)
Chapter 7. The Healer, The Healing Cult and the Patient Observed
Conclusion: Nature and the Cosmic Life in Elements
"The work is both unique and compelling since it is written by someone who is deeply rooted from birth in the Dagara culture rather than a researcher in transit, someone who is keen and able to present to an international scholarly audience the truth about his own epistemic heritage... a very interesting book. Even a hurried reading provides access to uniquely revealing information and perspectives in every chapter, which experts in the traditions of African healing and religion will not otherwise be able to source in the academic literature." * Utafiti: Journal of African Perspectives
"A wonderful book that will prove to be highly significant." * Roland Littlewood, University College London