Kofi Donko (1913-1995) was a blacksmith and farmer, as well as an important healer, intellectual, spiritual leader, settler of disputes, and custodian of shared values for his Ghanaian community. In Our Own Way in This Part of the World Kwasi Konadu centers Donko's life story and experiences in a communography of Donko's community and nation from the late nineteenth century through the end of the twentieth, which were shaped by historical forces from colonial Ghana's cocoa boom to decolonization and political and religious parochialism. Although Donko touched the lives of thousands of citizens and patients, neither he nor they appear in national or international archives covering the region. Yet, his memory persists in his intellectual and healing legacy and the story of his community offers a non-national, decolonized example of social organization structured around spiritual forces that serves as a powerful reminder of the importance for scholars to take their cues from the lived experiences and ideas of the people they study.
Kwasi Konadu is John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair in Africana and Latin American Studies at Colgate University and the author and editor of several books, including The Ghana Reader: History, Culture, Politics, also published by Duke University Press, and Transatlantic Africa, 1440-1888.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 1. Libation: Matters Connected with Our Culture 17 2. Homelands: In Search of Past Events 44 3. Tools of the Trade: I was a Blacksmith . . . Before I Became [a Healer] 73 4. Medicine, Marriage, and Politics: Assist this State to have Progress 107 5. Independences: Never Mingled Himself in Local Politics 137 6. Anthropologies of Medicine and Africa: When the Whiteman First Came 166 7. Uncertain Moments and Memory: Our Ancestral Spirits, Come and Have Drink 195 Epilogue 228 Notes 239 Bibliography 287 Notes