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Trokosi practice in Ghana - Essay Example

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By giving a daughter to live her life as a slave of the religious authorities of the tribes, families hoped to be spared punishment for their mistakes against the tribe in general or other specific people. The practice of trokosi is based on the superstitious foundation that every human action has a divine motivation. Effects on Society Trokosi is basically enacted to exact revenge on errant tribe members. The vestal virgins who are forced to become trokosis are their families’ sacrificial lambs. The crimes, in Ghanaian society, which traditionally called for the exacting on a trokosi stealing property and committing sexual assault (Xfm 95.1 NewsCenter, 2008). Essentially, the trokosi system of retribution merely punishes an innocent child for the crimes committed by a mature adult in her family. The trokosi system is based on intricate religious and cultural beliefs and practices that make it had, even in the modern world, to completely eradicate this practice. Slavery was recognized in most ancient African societies, particularly in Ghana, as a normal institution of society. This practice, it is believed, was first brought in the seventeenth century into Ghana by the Ewe-speaking population that settled in the country. The trokosi system, then, was not really meant to destroy the lives of innocent children but was started to maintain law and order among the members of the tribe even as different changes in their surroundings began to weaken the leadership of the tribe. The changes called for stricter penalties to be visited upon errant members. It was essentially established to discourage people from committing crimes that would result in destabilizing the tribe. For instance, theft of cattle, which seems so trivial in modern society, might have resulted in the starvation of an entire family or clan back then. Also, in the seventeenth century, the Ewe speaking tribes would take liquor or farm animals from an errant community member. The practice of taking virgins to appease the anger of other community members as well as the gods would come much later. It actually came about as a result of the greed of the lustful and avaricious tribal priests who realized that cows would not bring as much pleasure as virgin girls who, along with bring physical benefits, could also provide sexual benefits. Today, this practice in which girls are forced to work as sexual slaves without any human affection or education being afforded them, is still prevalent in many Ghanaian tribes under different names. It is a remnant of the practice of slavery in a society that has embraced all other modernisms. Some Ghanaian families, particularly those that are in the lower income bracket, use this system to avoid punishment for serious problems that they cause in the society (Xfm 95.1 NewsCenter, 2008). For instant, a drunk man who decides to sexually molest the children of his neighbor can offer his daughter as compensation to the local tribal priest and thus avoid being subjected to a court trial or imprisonment. So engrained is this practice in the psyche of Ghanaian mainstream society, that once such a pedophile offers his daughter, policemen will be reluctant to arrest him. The sacrificial daughter, once given to the service of the tribal priest, has to do anything and everything he asks of her for a number of years. The reality, however, is that after experiencing the benefits of such a relationship, most ...Show more
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Religion and Theology: "Trokosi" Practice In Ghana Name Institution Date Religion and Theology: "Trokosi" Practice In Ghana The practice of ‘Trokosi’ is usually described as a tradition that is basically a mixture of ancient cultural practices and religious customs…
Trokosi practice in Ghana
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