Handwritten History book of the Ewe people of West Africa

Scope and Content

This is a single volume handwritten history book of the Ewe people of Ghana, Togo and Benin beginning with the ancient history of the people and ending with details of missionary work in the early twentieth century .

The book is made up of numbered sections with subtitles such as 'Trade' and 'The Work of the North German Missionary Society'. It is written chronogically, beginning with an account of the ancient history of the Ewe people and ending with details of missionary activity in west Africa in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The work also contains some thematic elements such as sections on building work, weaving and heathanism.

Much of the work is dedicated to accounts of wars involving or impacting upon the Ewe people such as the Nonobe wars, Dahomey war, the Asante war and the Akwamu war. The migration of people is also commented upon, as are the leaders of different regions and peoples like King Agokol and King Akoto. Religion is a key focus of the work with chapters dedicated to 'The True Religion' and 'Missionary Settlements'. It contains information on the establishment of missionary stations from the mid-nineteenth century with reports on how the missionary work progressed. It seems to have been written from a missionary perspective.

The daily lives and habits of the Ewe people are also commented upon with information included on fishing, agriculture and women's work.

Administrative / Biographical History

According to the title page this history book was edited by Revd G. Haertter, Revd J. Spieth and Revd G. Dauble with the cooperation of native assistants and compiled and translated by H. W. Haymann.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Donated to SOAS by Linda Campbell in January 2007

Personal Names