a1 University of Edinburgh
The idea that mission Christianity played a pivotal role in the creation of modern African ethnic identities has become paradigmatic. Yet, the actual cultural and social processes that facilitated the widespread reception of specific ethnic identities have been under-researched. Suggesting that historians have overemphasised the role of Christian schooling and theology in ethnic identity formation, this article examines how the Anlo people of south-eastern Ghana came, over the twentieth century, to recognise themselves as part of the larger Ewe ethnic group. Although Christian missionaries were the first to conceive of ‘Ewe’ as a broad ethnic identity, a corpus of non-Christian ritual practices pioneered by inland Ewe slave women were crucial to many Anlos' embrace of Eweness.
* This article was written during the course of an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship held at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh. I would like to thank Girish Daswani, Tom Fisher, Angela McFarlane, Paul Nugent, Ben Nyamesi, Martin Tsang, and the anonymous reviewers of the Journal of African History for their comments on draft versions of this article. The late Edison Amegbor greatly facilitated research for this article.