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
In the Akan tradition, abosom (deities/divinities/ lesser gods; singular: obosom) are the children and messengers of Nyame (Creator). Similar in function to Yoruba orisha and Vodun loa, the abosom are spiritual forces evincing and operating throughout the Akan universe, assisting Nyame in the task of managing Creation, namely humanity. They are found throughout Ghana and are a major part of Akan cosmology. Abosom may be male or female or have the ability to embody both. Although the abosom often embody various manifestations of nature (i.e., wind, bodies of water, trees, mountains, hills, animals, etc.), these objects are used only as temporary dwelling places and should not be confused with the abosom themselves. The abosom are essentially spirit. Created by Nyame to fulfill specific functions, the abosom derive their power from Nyame and serve as the mediators between Nyame and human kind. Because the Akan believe that Nyame is too great ...