Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Wife of the Gods

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Wife of the Gods

A Novel

by Kwei Quartey

Wife of the Gods
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2009, 336 pages
    Aug 2010, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book

The Child-Wives of the Gods
Wife of the Gods refers to a practice in Ghana known as trokosi.  A trokosi is a young girl who is given to the village priest, also known as a fetish priest, to atone for a perceived sin committed by a family member; the custom is basically a form of sanctioned slavery.  It is practiced primarily in the Volta region of southeast Ghana by members of the Ewe tribe, but also in parts of Benin, Nigeria and Togo, where it is known as voodoosi or vudusi.  It is believed the practice began in Togo and Benin as a war ritual in the 1600s.  Before combat, warriors would offer women to the war gods in exchange for victory and a safe homecoming. 

The trokosi tradition is part of the traditional fetish belief system, in which gods or spirits reside in ritual objects and in the shrine priests.  The priests are considered very powerful, able to communicate directly with the gods and spirits, and even capable of ...

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