Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Ewe people are found in three different countries in West Africa: Ghana, Togo, and Benin. This distribution over these three national territories resulted from the fragmentation of the African continent that took place during the Berlin Conference m 1884–1885. The Ewe people are patrilineal. They are composed of several clans, defined in relation to a common male ancestor. Furthermore, branches of the clans or lineages also trace their ancestry back to a shared male ancestor. Each lineage is characterized by its own symbols and ancestral shrine, and it assumes collective ownership of property. Stools are particularly important because they are often carved with great care and provide a rich narrative about the clan in question. Furthermore, during rituals, the clan stool serves as the place to which ancestral spirits may be called. This entry looks at their historical background, deities, and rituals related to life passages. According to Ewe ...