There is a general belief among the Ewe of Ghana and Togo that when a person dies the soul of the deceased goes to live in a nether world which is beyond a river, a common belief along the Guinea Coast of West Africa. This spirit-world, known as Tsiefe to the Ewe, is believed to be divided into two units, one for those who have led exemplary lives and the other for ‘criminals’ such as witches, sorcerers and murderers. Some Ewe believe that even the ‘bad part’ of the underworld will not accept the spirit of a criminal unless a special type of ritual has been performed following death. In this case the spirit of the deceased criminal lingers on in this world, plaguing and punishing members of his family or lineage until the appropriate ceremony is performed.
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