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Akwantemfi —'In Mid-Journey': An Asante Shrine Today and Its Clients

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image of Journal of Religion in Africa

This paper examines the activities today of the Medoma shrine in Kumasi, capital of the historic Asante kingdom in the Republic of Ghana. It seeks to contextualise this shrine in relation to historic and current Asante indigenous belief. It also looks at it in relation to the rise of charismatic or Pentecostalist Christian churches, and to the ever growing presence of the African American diaspora in Asante. It supplies a profile of the life and beliefs of Nana Abass (Kwaku Abebrese), founder and 'priest' (okomfo) of the Medoma shrine. It explores his commitment to societal development and some of the initiatives and projects that have arisen from this involvement. It discusses the motives of the shrine's Asante, other Ghanaian and African American clients. Finally, it advances an interpretation of the nature of Asante indigenous belief in the past and in the present age of globalisation and charismatic Christianity.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies, London WC1H 0XG; ,, Email:


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