Witchcraft themes in popular Ghanaian music

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10 Scopus citations


Music has a vital role in all societies, serving as a major conduit for the transmission of cultural values, beliefs, and norms. To investigate music's role in the acquisition, dissemination, and perpetuation of Akan witchcraft ideology in Ghana, West Africa, this article explores the representation of witchcraft in highlife and gospel music through the example of three songs. Critical analysis of the song lyrics, transcribed from audio-cassette tapes purchased in Ghana, then translated into English from the Akan language, reveals prevailing Ghanaian beliefs about witches and witchcraft, suggesting that music may play a supportive, if not pivotal, role in the reinforcement and dissemination or transmission of witchcraft beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-311
Number of pages13
JournalPopular Music and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


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