Rotation without Genealogy: the Office of the Rainmaker in Yikpabongo

  • F Kröger


Among the Bulsa, neighbours of the Koma, an ancestral shrine is inherited by the “rule of seniority", i.e. the oldest living male of the most senior generation of the ancestor’s descendants will be the new owner. Compared to the Bulsa, the Koma have insufficient genealogical knowledge and as such an extensive rotational system of inheritance cannot be expected. Nevertheless, despite not knowing the founding ancestor of a lineage segment, they do know about every relevant male person of their lineage segment and whether he belongs to an older or younger generation or whether he is an older or junior classificatory brother of their own generation. This knowledge suffices in maintaining a rotational system regarding the inheritance of shrines. This article demonstrates the inheritance of a rain-shrine which rotates through six compounds of a lineage segment in the Koma village of Yikpabongo.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2343-6530