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Author: Tom Kwanya

Abstract

Night-runners are perceived as faceless, evil people who run naked in the darkness, thereby wreaking havoc in otherwise peaceful rural villages. This paper investigates the origins of night-running, the mysteries associated with it, the benefits and harms of night-running, and the impact of indigenous knowledge (IK) stigmatisation on this practice. Indigenous knowledge is the body of unique beliefs, attitudes, skills, and practices possessed by communities in a specific geographic setting. In spite of its potential value, scholars point out that indigenous knowledge has been neglected, vindicated, stigmatised, legalised, and suppressed among the majority of the world’s communities due to ignorance and arrogance. Night-running is one of the indigenous practices in Western Kenya that has been stigmatised. Given this, little is actually known about night-running. This study was designed as an ethnographic research through which the views of the residents of Homa Bay County on night-running were investigated, collated, and interpreted as a means of demystifying this indigenous practice. The findings of the study indicate that night-running is intrinsically a harmless practice. However, evil persons such as witches sometimes masquerade as night-runners and can hurt or kill people.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
In: Journal of Religion in Africa
In: Journal of Religion in Africa
Author: T.C. McCaskie

Abstract

This paper explores the life of the Basel missionary Edmond Perregaux (1868-1905) in Switzerland and among the Akan of Ghana. It is concerned with the construction and expression of his selfhood in and between two different worlds in the later nineteenth century under the aegis of an ever advancing globalization. In brief, the paper looks at a Swiss missionary as an actor in Africa and among Africans and reflects upon the matter of reconciling and integrating these two arenas of experience in the formation of his individual subjectivity. It is aimed at creating a much needed bridge between the discrete concerns of Missionary and Africanist historians, and to suggest within the framework of a single individual life the possibilities for a richer, more textured understanding of personhood when all due attention is paid to the interactions between the shaping environments of both home and abroad.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
In: Journal of Religion in Africa

Abstract

This paper examines the phenomenon of the ‘African Hindu’ in the context of the discussions on ‘transnational Hinduism’. I also report on how these African Hindus resort to a reinterpretation of the history of their Ghanaian indigenous (traditional) religion and culture in their attempt to find religious space in the almost-choked religious environment of Ghana, and also how they attempt to negotiate their new religious identity in relation to their identity as Africans (Ghanaians). I conclude with a prognosis of the form that Hinduism is likely to assume in the near future on Ghanaian soil as its African converts try to live their faith in the context of their local culture.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa