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Essays on Ghanaian Philosophy – EA Ammah – Essay4 – Summing Up


Ade Sawyer

March 26, 2014

To sum up: morality or ethics means custom or customary. It is interesting to note that our tradition and culture have indicated all the ethics involved.

About kple hymns, the main course which constitute the gist of this thesis, Dr. M. J. Field comments, “Some songs are in Ga, some in Obutu, some in a mixture of both. Many of the songs are in the extinct Obutu language. It is the Obutu songs which betray the greatest number of the dead gods, and it is the Obutu songs which show the greatest interest in nature—lagoons, rivers, trees, rain, and win. The songs which are in Ga are hardly interesting or worth recording” (The Religion and Medicine of the Ga People, [1937] pp.16, 18, 19).

The excerpts above [by Dr. Field] represent the accepted views of many Europeans. But from what we have demonstrated in the preceding times, it can be realized that those views are not factually and wholly right or true or not applicable to Ghanaian thought.

Dr. Field’s invective view or comment on [the] Ga form of Kple songs is unfounded—based on hasty and wrong estimation—or lack of proper information. She, like those who had maliciously spoken against the Ga people and the language and are still spitefully doing so, has done a great disservice to the Ga people.

This is nothing less than ‘persecution.’ But as the ideal of the Ga people is towards peace and unity, they by nature “take pleasure in persecution” (2 Corinthians, 12.10); “and being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it” (1 Corinthians 4.12). And the satisfying and concrete point is that most of the hymns which expound Ghanaian thought are in the Ga language.

It is a source of pride and satisfaction and a great credit to our thinkers that their thought is reflected or mirrored in the view that “the unity of all life, the mysterious harmony of the least and the nearest with the greatest and most remote, the conviction that life of the Universe pulsated in all its parts were so familiar to that ancient cosmic consciousness as to modern biology and psychology” (Samuel Angus, The Mystery Religions and Christianity, p. x).

Metaphysics is defined as the science of the first cause, of a cause which has no other causes behind it, or the science of the ultimate principles independent of other principles.” (The British Ency. Vol. 7, p. 161) or “The one unlimited substance” (Spinoza). This reminds us of the Ghanaian notion of the sea. A yearly recital on the feast of the god Blafo in honour, praise, and eternal bountifulness of the sea (Bosrobo) is: The year has come round, “the sea is not dried up (Bosrobo nke ye da).”

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