This study investigates the phenomenon of spiritually-induced affliction among the Ga people of
Ghana. The Gas, just as most African cultures, believe that the world is divided into the causal
realms of the physical and the spiritual. Based on this belief, they postulate that the cause of
human affliction does not only originate from the physical realm, but also from the spiritual
sphere. Events attributed to affliction emanating from the spiritual world are particular mishaps
which natural (ordinary) explanations do not give satisfactory accounts. To the Gas, these are not
just mere chance events, but events which are spiritually-induced.
Accordingly, affliction is ultimately a spiritually-induced phenomenon resulting from either the
direct actions of spiritual causative agents (SCA) such as the gods (jemawͻji) and ancestral
spirits (niimɛ kɛ naamɛ), or the indirect deeds of social causative agents (SCA1) including
witches (ayɛi), bad medicine-men (tsofatsɛmɛi), and all other spiritual experts who can use
metaphysical powers to inflict pain. SCAs act directly since they don‟t rely on any other spiritual
power to afflict people. On the other hand, SCA1s act indirectly because they depend on either
the power of SCAs or higher spiritual powers to cause mishaps.
Spiritually-induced affliction can take the form of diseases such as fever, paralysis, epilepsy,
malaria, running stomach, and diseases that defy scientific diagnosis, and at other times body
weakness and physical pain including head and stomach aches. In other cases, affliction comes
as psychological problems such as madness (sɛkɛyeli), fear (gbeyeishemͻ), and even some
abnormal behavior. Some cases are so severe that they lead to the death of the victim.
Eastern Network, L (2021). The Concept Of “Affliction” In The Religious Context Of The Indigenous Ga People Of Ghana.. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 17, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/the-concept-of-affliction-in-the-religious-context-of-the-indigenous-ga-people-of-ghana
Library, Eastern Network. "The Concept Of “Affliction” In The Religious Context Of The Indigenous Ga People Of Ghana." Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 07 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/the-concept-of-affliction-in-the-religious-context-of-the-indigenous-ga-people-of-ghana . Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.
Library, Eastern Network. "The Concept Of “Affliction” In The Religious Context Of The Indigenous Ga People Of Ghana.". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 07 Apr. 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/the-concept-of-affliction-in-the-religious-context-of-the-indigenous-ga-people-of-ghana >.
Library, Eastern Network. "The Concept Of “Affliction” In The Religious Context Of The Indigenous Ga People Of Ghana." Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 17, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/the-concept-of-affliction-in-the-religious-context-of-the-indigenous-ga-people-of-ghana