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In African religion, and especially among the Akan, the presence of suman is a significant part of the culture. A suman is a material object that is dedicated to religious purposes because of its energy. Because religion is based on a set of beliefs, suman is an aspect of the religion that is derived from a belief in the energizing capacity of certain objects. Most African cultures accept the following hierarchy: God, the ancestors, the spirits, the totem, and suman, also called charms.

The suman is a specialized piece of art that is used as a talisman or charm for offensive or defensive capabilities. A suman is not a fetish, a word derived from the Portuguese word fetico, which originally referred to an object that was ...

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