The Ga believe in the existence of spirits, some of which can be good and other bad; they believe in the existence of a supreme spirit that created the world and this supreme being has both male and female properties.

The name of this creator god is Ataa-Naa Nyonmo that literally means "the god who is both", in fact "Ataa" means "male" and "Naa" means "female", while "Nyonmo" means "divinity"; but the creator god is also called "Ofe" or the "first ever" or Maawu.

The good god and creator Maawu has his nemesis in a god called Abomsam, who is the head of evil spirits.

Maawu works with the support of minor divinities, organized in a hierarchical order on two levels: the highest level is occupied by the DzemaWodzi, on the lower level we find the Wodzi.

Among the DzemaWodzi are the god of the sky, the earth, the oceans, the stars, the gods of the lagoon, the god of war and numerous other deities.

The difference between the two levels is that while Wodzi can be adored by individuals, DzemaWodzi can only be worshiped by groups or clans.

The gods may possess some individuals by turning them into mediums or Wulomoi, or priests, and Woyei, or priestesses, through whom they communicate with humans.

DzemaWodzi and Wodzi are dedicated offers of blood from cattle, sheep, goats or hens, while to honor Maawu it is necessary to sacrifice more substantial libations, but never human sacrifice or blood because for the Ga murder is an inviolable taboo.

According to the Ga all natural bodies and living beings have spiritual components, death does not destroy the spirits of living beings, who always remain in communication with the bodies that they leave.

The Ga believe that the human body comprises three entities, the Gbomotso, the body, Susuma, the spirit of the man associated with dreams, and Kla, the sustaining spirit of life.

All the people born the same day have the same Kla and the same Kla name, or the name of the day.

When Susuma wanders in dreams, the Kla remains in the body, to keep the man alive; if both Kla and Susuma leave the body together permanently, the person dies.

When humans die, their Susumas live to become ancestral spirits always willing to help the descendants of the dead, while the Kla can reincarnate.

There is also a conception of the trinity that is completely different from the Christian conception of the trinity: the sky, Nwei, is considered a male and the earth, Shikpong is considered female; Nsho, the sea, is born from the marriage between Nwei and Shikpong.

This trinity of Nwei, Shikpong and Nsho supports life; Shikpong's holy day is Thursday when agriculture is forbidden, while the holy day of the Nsho is Tuesday, the day when fishing is prohibited.

The Ga also have a system of taboos that guides and regulates their behavior, all acts of incest, homosexuality, rape, murder, disrespect for the elderly and other immoral gestures are considered taboos punishable by exile from society, with heavy fines and even death in the case of murder.

 David Stanley

Photo Credits: David Stanley