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
Yaba Amgborale Blay
The Akan universe is endowed with varying degrees of force or power. This force or power is referred to as sunsum , which is also understood as “spirit.” All things, animate and inanimate, contain sunsum, which has the power to hurt and the power to heal. It is for this reason that we consult the Nsamanfo (community of ancestors) before making and acting on many of our daily decisions. On an individual basis, the sunsum originates with the father and refers to an individual's spirit, the basis of one's character and personality. The Akan believe that each individual consists of certain material and spiritual elements. The honam (body) and mogya (blood, connection to matrilin-eage) represent the material or physical components, whereas the kra (life force/soul), honhom (breath of Divine Life), and sunsum (spirit, connection to patrilineage) represent the spiritual or non-physical components. Nyame (creator) bestows these material and spiritual elements ...