Archaeology, Cosmology and the African Ritual Past. Interpreting the Corpus of ancient ceramic figurines from Yikpabongo and Tando-Fagusa, Koma Land, Northern Ghana.

  • Author: Benjamin W. Kankpeyeng and Samuel Nkumba
  • Topic: Rock art studies
  • Country: Ghana
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

Archaeological research at Yikpabongo, and Tando Fagusa in Koma Land, Northern Ghana from 2006 to 2010 provided new insights on the contextual associations of the terracotta figurines and their likely meanings or functions. The distribution and placements of the artifact assemblage, including the figurines portray aspects associated with discard behaviors and intentional depositions relating to religious ritual actions and worldview of ancient Koma Land populations of Yikpabongo, and Tando-Fagusa. The representations/features on the figurines, including human heads on animal bodies, phallic depictions, single to multiple faced human forms, different animal forms, and appliqués touch on indigenous African cosmological beliefs relating to likely multiple functions or practices. Collectively, the archaeological data clearly identify ancient sacred places from those of human domestic life, showing contrasting evidence of shrines, residential areas and burial places.

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