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In My Time of DyingA History of Death and the Dead in West Africa$
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John Parker

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691193151

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691193151.001.0001

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(p.326) Conclusion
In My Time of Dying

John Parker

Princeton University Press

This chapter concludes by returning to where the book started, to the beginning of time, when Odomankoma fashioned something unspeakable: adee, the 'Thing'. The Thing, as recounted by the ntumpane, was death, and its first victim was Odomankoma himself. The chapter recalls how Odomankoma became the first of countless others to mount the proverbial ladder of death, dead yet somehow not dead, leaving humankind to fend for itself in a threatening and mysterious world. It demonstrates that death and the dead stood at the very heart of those cultures and that they materialized in myriad ways as historical action. Ultimately, the chapter examines the identifiable history of death among the diverse peoples of the Gold Coast and the forest and savanna beyond. It analyzes how mortuary cultures in independent Ghana appear to have been characterized by a considerable degree of continuity over the four centuries.

Keywords:   Odomankoma, ntumpane, death, dead, Gold Coast, mortuary cultures, Ghana

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