Talk:Ritual servitude

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merge trokosi and ritual servitude[edit]

The existing Trokosi and Ritual servitude articles are mostly assimilated content, and surely should be merged. However "ritual servitude" is a much broader concept than the one example of trokosi. Can someone expand that article to include other examples? In the meantime, let's keep the Trokosi article, but remove the duplicated material from Ritual servitude, leaving it a stub.Lisamh 01:00, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Fetish shrine redirects here, but this article doesn't mention them. Secretlondon 19:16, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Discussion: Why radical revision is needed for "Trokosi" and "Ritual servitude". Trokosi alleged as "slavery", and "Ritual Servitude" is suspect in any merger, as mere polemics, to lampoon a tradition, and to disrespect a religion - mere insensitive tradition- bashing for the African animist autonomy. These articles need to be revised. Trokosi, the initiate to, or the adept, at a shrine, needs a more nuanced explication, and analysis, beyond the derogatory ascriptions from the dirt and aspersions cast on this important traditional animist religious concept, by oppositional consciousness, (mostly adherents to other faiths, with vested interest to raise funds for social activism). Those alienated from the tradition, may oppose the African shrine's vernacular spirituality, on cartoonist's theological grounds. But such sectarian partisan allegations, hardly make for intelligent contributions to knowledge, or peace at the Internet.
Normative approaches to definition, to clarify the concept, need detachment from the heat of recent debates generated by intolerance towards the reformation-challenged institution, from the proselytizing zeal of other religious leaders, be they alienated African, Ewe or non-Ewe. The semantics of "trokosi" from the roots of the word "tro", "ko", "si", or "kosi", is more expansive than the narrow "slavery", or "sex slavery", as definitive for a positive cultural norm. The Ewe clitic "ko" alone, has full phonemic integrity, to imply the vow of poverty taken by an initiate, inducted into the shrine, from secular life. Trokosi idealism, ( different from a shallow image of an exploited, troubled shrine, fallen on austere times) is a virtuous high road to a life of holiness, dedicated to selfless service, to lofty standards of elite religious values, as inspired by many monasteries and nunneries, for conscientious nuns and monks, at their best. The African polytheistic parallel as a cultural variant, is no different in asceticism, except, endogamous, or polygamous, in a time of dire austerity, for its national economy. To vulgarize or cheapen the definition as a no-brainer, may lead to unfortunate monstrosities. An iconoclastic scornful, cynical attitude towards the pious ideal, may gain NGO funds today; but it misinforms, distorts and transmorgrifies African animist religious idealism; and sows seeds of future hate and discord.
An Ewe proverb says, "Nunya adidoe ..." 18:02, 22 February 2007 (UTC) A. Adjornor

The term "ritual or customary servitude" comes from the law of Ghana which prohibits the practice. Unfortunately, the law is not presently enforced, hence the concern of human rights groups. "Slave" is just a common term for involuntary servitude. The girls who are involved very seldom have any choice, if hundreds of interviews I have conducted with them is any indicator. Therefore I think the real polemic is in those who accuse the NGO's of using this human rights issue to make money. This is an unsubstantiated accusation that borders on libel. Musoniki 04:04, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


Seeing as the discussion here has dried up, and the articles seem to have similar content, I have merged Trokosi here. Kevin 05:43, 26 June 2007 (UTC) the very fact that these ritual service exist in a pre-dominant age and era like this is that we are all losing hope of freeing the evil out of these women.