Studien zur Kultur der Moba (Nord-Togo)

ISBN 978-3-89645-205-4

Studien zur Kultur der Moba (Nord-Togo)

Author: Jürgen Zwernemann.

Series: Studien zur Kulturkunde Volume 110

1998
434 pp.
57 b/w photos, 5 drawings, 1 map, appendix: list of clans, kinship terminology, genealogies and lists of office-holders, glossary, list of informants, bibliography, index
Text language(s): German
Format: 170 x 240 mm
830 g
Paperback
€ 29.80

In 1913 Leo Frobenius wrote a chapter of the third volume of his work Und Afrika sprach ... (abridged translation The Voice of Africa) about the culture of the Moba in Northern Togo. While on a lecture tour in West Africa, the author spent a short time in the Moba area, and he realized that further research would result in deepening the knowledge of the culture of this ethnic group considerably. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft supported the idea by a scholarship, and it was in 1969/70 that this project could be realized. In 1976 the author spent some more days in the Moba area to gather additional information. Some of the results have been published in various articles; this book deals with the main results of the research.

A general introduction is followed by these chapters: social organisation, secret societies, traditional political organisation, rites de passage, religion, and magic. The data collected in more than ten cantons have been related to each other and to previous publications concerning the Moba. Publications already available at the time of research have been verified and supplemented. In comparison with the Moba, the Gurma, Mamprusi, and the Konkomba cultures have been included in the work.

It is not surprising that there exists strong similarity between the Moba culture and the Gurma culture and that there are also connections to the Mamprusi and Konkomba: these ethnic groups being the strongest components that form today’s Moba people. The close connections to the Gurma manifest themselves in the social structure, chieftainship, religious beliefs, and other customs such as pregnancy, birth, marriage, and death. The connections to the Mamprusi and Konkomba are less evident. Furthermore, parallels can be found to other Gur-peoples especially as religious beliefs are concerned.

Reviews

Schon der umfangreiche Apparat von Anhängen (Verzeichnis der Klane der Moba, Liste der Verwandtschaftsbegriffe, Genealogien, ein Glossar mit weit über 500 Einträgen sowie eine Liste der Informanten) vermittelt einen ersten Eindruck von der Sorgfalt und Detailtreue, die diesen ethnographischen Bericht kennzeichnen. [...] Die große Zahl konkreter und präziser Beschreibungen bietet eine sichere Grundlage für weitere, in die Tiefe gehende Untersuchungen zu einzelnen Bereichen der Kultur der Moba. [...] Schon jetzt ist vorauszusehen, daß dieses Werk somit zu einer unentbehrlichen Quelle für die Geschichte der Region werden wird.

Hans Peter Hahn in Afrika und Übersee, 82/1999, pp. 121–123

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