Lectures exploring Colonial Legacies: The Ewe Artifact Collection

22 April, 2024

Items Out of Place? A Transregional and Multi-perspective Research Collaboration into the Past and Future of a Missionary Collection from Colonial Togo

Since December 2023, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, and Togo, along with priests from a Vodun shrine in Accra, Ghana, have been examining the origins of a collection of artifacts belonging to the Ewe people. This collection, consisting of around 500 items—half of which are considered sensitive and sacred—was compiled by Carl Spiess, a missionary from the North German Mission Society, between 1892 and 1914. These artifacts were gathered during his time in the then German colony of Togo and the British colony of the Gold Coast, and later donated to the Bremen Museum.

This research project seeks to explore the role and place of these culturally sensitive, sacred material forms in the pre-colonial world of the Ewe people, as well as to assess the circumstances of their collection in the context of colonization and evangelization that led to their removal to Bremen. Furthermore, the project aims to understand what this collection means to the people in Togo and Ghana today. Participants involved in the project will discuss various perspectives on the collection and its future handling at this panel.

Event Details:

  • Date: April 23
  • Time: 19:00 – 20:30
  • Format: Lecture
  • Admission: €5, reduced €4 | No registration required
  • Language: The event will be held in English
  • Funded by: The German Lost Art Foundation

More information see here.

Text translated from https://www.uebersee-museum.de/veranstaltung/items-out-of-place/