THE JOURNEY OF THE SOUL IN SISALA COSMOLOGY BY EUGENE L. MENDONSA (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria) Sisala Evironment and Society ' The Sisala live primarily in the Tumu District of Northern Ghana but portions live in neighbouring Upper Volta. I) Their villages are widely scattered through the rather densely-wooded savannah which is cleared, on a rotating basis, for subsistence farming. There are two seasons; rainy and dry, and most of the farm work transpires during the former, while most of the ritual activity happens during the latter. Social organisation is based on the principle of patrilineal descent and residence is patrilocal. The Sisala people form a loose-knit associa- tion of patri-clans which are sub-divided into villages, reciprocal burial groups, lineages, compounds, houses and rooms according to the prin- ciple of segmentation. The village is the most important political unit while the lineage is the corporate unit of production, distribution and consumption. Isalung-speakers are governed by a paramount chief, the chief of Tumu, and a series of divisional and village chiefs who were imposed on them by the Colonial government. These chiefs have remained till the present alongside the traditional authority, the tinteintina or "custodian of the earth".
Journal of Religion in Africa – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1975
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