For my ethnography report, I chose Watch and Pray: a Portrait of Fante Village Life in Transition, by Nancy Lundgren. As you might guess, this book focuses on the changing parts of the culture of a tribe in Ghana that is feeling the effects of Western culture, like most of Africa. In each chapter, the book chooses a different aspect of the new Fanatanese culture which has become a mix of both old and new traditions. Since this book is about change, and basically cultural change is the biggest factor in the Fantanese peoples" lives, this paper will also focus on change. After reading the report, I decided that the most change has occurred in aspects of economy and religion, and so those will be my two concepts that I have chosen to analyze. .
Prior to colonization, the Fante peoples" society was similar to those of most African tribes. They held a simple set of religion beliefs, worshiping one larger god as well as smaller deities and spirits. Religion does not play a part in the lives of the Fante; religion is the lives of the Fante. In the section on religion, the book says this, that every aspect of the Fante's life is bound by their religious beliefs. There is no division, and it is made up of all the traditions of dance, song, worship, ethics, and everything else that would also be the definition of the society. In every local village, including the one studied, had its own healer or medicine man who dealt with the sick and the injured. They subsided from the land where they inhabited, on the Southern coast of Northern Africa. The Fante did not farm in any large scale, but they are not generally nomadic people, so most Fante people stayed in generally the same place their whole life. The Fante had no real economy to speak of, aside from some barter and trading. They followed simple tribal laws and a "government" that was basically made up of a council of elders and a "king" or chief type figure.