Representations of mortuary beliefs and practices in Akan literary works

a focus on Edwin Efa’s forosie


  • Mensah Adinkrah Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, Central Michigan University, U.S.A.


Akans, death rituals, Ghana, mortuary beliefs, mortuary practices, suicide


Akan mortuary rituals and practices are undergoing rapid transformation due to the combined influences of colonization, modernization, westernization and globalization. For researchers interested in Akan beliefs and customs related to death and bereavement, it will be useful to be cognizant or aware of the nature and forms these practices and beliefs assumed during earlier epochs in Akan society and history. For both the scholar and the inexpert on this subject, Edwin Efa’s fictional work in Twi, Forosie, provides a worthy introduction to the subject, offering important insights into mortuary beliefs, burial customs, funeral rites and other rituals associated with death and bereavement among the Akan. A major theme that runs through the book is the Akan worldview that failure to properly send off a deceased relative can incur ancestral wrath through sickness, misfortune, or death. A major strength of the book is that it covers some of the rarely discussed topics on Akan mortuary rituals such as funsua, samantoa, owufo aduane, and human sacrifice. Readers of the book will also find it especially useful for the important insights it offers on beliefs and attitudes toward altruistic suicide in pre-colonial Akan society.


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How to Cite

Adinkrah, M. (2021). Representations of mortuary beliefs and practices in Akan literary works: a focus on Edwin Efa’s forosie. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Culture, 7(6), 477-488.



Research Articles