Reading The Mind Of The Spirits: Divination And Health seeking Behavior Among The Dagomba In The Northern Region Of Ghana

Edu Frontiers SALIFU ABUKARI 206 PAGES (55770 WORDS) Thesis
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ABSTRACT 

Finding an explanation for the causes of ill-health and other misfortunes has been and continues to agitate the human mind. Among the Dagomba of the Northern Region of Ghana, consulting diviners for virtually every situation, good or bad, makes diviners ’critical actors in the health-seeking behaviour of the people. This study explored the significance of divination in the health-seeking behaviour among the Dagomba. Specifically, the study was guided by the following objectives: (i) To describe the practice of divination and how it affects health decision-making; (ii) To examine reasons why a sick Dagomba will shop for the services of both a diviner and an orthodox medical practitioner; (iii)To examine gender relations and its consequences in the practices of divination; and (iv)To describe the circumstances under which divination is employed. The study design was descriptive and qualitative methods of data collection were employed. In-depth interviews were held with thirteen diviners, nine health professionals, three patients of diviners, and the chief diviner and chief custodian of Dagbon culture. Thirteen focus group discussions were held with men and women groups. Observations were also used to complement the data collected. Both the IDIs and FGDs were recorded and transcribed into English language. Themes were developed based on key issues resulting from the data. The data was analysed using NVIVO 10 software. The findings of the study are that: iii  Divination was used to distinguish between illnesses of supernatural origin and illnesses described as normal or natural so that appropriate therapy could be sought for patients  Patients and their relatives sometimes combined diviner and modern services at the same time. This is premised on the belief that some illnesses have both spiritual and physical aspects and as such they need both therapeutic regimen.  Women were not permitted to consult diviners because of patriarchy and the alleged nature of woman. However, generally, women were also not permitted to practice divination for fear of being branded witches.  Various types of divination practices were identified among the Dagomba. These included soothsaying; sand-reading; occultism; and clairvoyance In addition the study revealed that agents such as witchcraft, old customs, ancestral spirits and nature spirits were responsible for the causes of most illnesses.. In conclusion, this study has documented the role divination plays in the daily life of the Dagomba. The study also articulates the importance of diviners in the health-seeking behaviour of the Dagomba and calls for consideration of the role of divination and diviners in the entire health architecture of the Dagomba. 

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APA

Edu, F (2021). Reading The Mind Of The Spirits: Divination And Health seeking Behavior Among The Dagomba In The Northern Region Of Ghana. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/reading-the-mind-of-the-spirits-divination-and-health-seeking-behavior-among-the-dagomba-in-the-northern-region-of-ghana

MLA 8th

Frontiers, Edu. "Reading The Mind Of The Spirits: Divination And Health seeking Behavior Among The Dagomba In The Northern Region Of Ghana" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 26 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/reading-the-mind-of-the-spirits-divination-and-health-seeking-behavior-among-the-dagomba-in-the-northern-region-of-ghana . Accessed 13 May. 2021.

MLA7

Frontiers, Edu. "Reading The Mind Of The Spirits: Divination And Health seeking Behavior Among The Dagomba In The Northern Region Of Ghana". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 26 Apr. 2021. Web. 13 May. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/reading-the-mind-of-the-spirits-divination-and-health-seeking-behavior-among-the-dagomba-in-the-northern-region-of-ghana >.

Chicago

Frontiers, Edu. "Reading The Mind Of The Spirits: Divination And Health seeking Behavior Among The Dagomba In The Northern Region Of Ghana" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed May 13, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/reading-the-mind-of-the-spirits-divination-and-health-seeking-behavior-among-the-dagomba-in-the-northern-region-of-ghana