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African Archaeological Review

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 83–85 | Cite as

A. C. Dawson, Shrines in Africa: History, Politics and Society

University of Calgary Press, Calgary, 2009, 210 pp, ISBN 978-1-55238-246-2
  • C. A. Folorunso
Book Review

The book has six chapters plus an introduction, and as the editor indicates, it has a West African bias. Not only are four of the six chapters about Ghana, but the four chapters on Ghana are based in Northern Ghana. Therefore, the book is quite limited in area coverage for its title Shrines in Africa. My review of the book focuses on the importance of the chapters for African archaeology.

An interesting issue in the book is how “shrine” is conceived. One may ask to what extent the concept as it is being used is directly applicable to the local African conception(s) of the term. On page ix of the Introduction, “objects of ritual devotion” are described as shrines, and on page xii, it is elaborated that “…African shrines can be material objects such as ceramics pots, shaped stones, constructed buildings, houses, tombs, gravesites, or assemblages of rocks.” The concern here is whether such objects should be described as shrines themselves, or whether they are “shrine objects.” My sense is...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Archaeology and AnthropologyUniversity of IbadanIbadanNigeria

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