In 2013 Samuel Elikem Kwame Nyamuame authored a dissertation which he submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida. In this dissertation entitled ‘History, Religion And Performing Yeve: Ewe Dance-Drumming, Songs And Rituals At Ave-Dakpa, Ghana’, he wrote the following in regards to the name and characteristics of the God of the Ewe people of West Africa:
“Yeve is one of the most powerful and secretive cults found among the Ewe. From oral history to scholarly works, it is difficult to clearly determine the precise meaning of what Yeve is. Scholars who study certain aspects of Yeve and even native Ewe who knows a little about it describes it by its characteristics. Yeve does not have a synonym to help relate to its nearest meaning. It is also problematic for even a native to ask a yevesi (Yeve member) what Yeve means because of a fear of misunderstanding and retaliation. I was very fortunate that most of my family members are part of the Yeve cult and we have a very close relationship, as I narrated in chapter one. When I asked my aunt what Yeve means she told me, Yevea ye nye mawu. Her answer to my question literally means, “Yeve is God.” I was very confused because I go to church every Sunday and have heard various pastors talk about God, but never reference Yeve. I went to her another time with the same question and got the same answer she had given me earlier. During my field research I asked my principal informant, Agbayiza if it is possible to tell me in a single word or phrase what Yeve means. I was surprised to hear from him the same answer my aunt gave me. His response was Yeve la ye nye tohono, ye nye mawua, meaning “Yeve is the thunderbolt, he is the god.” I continued to ask if he would relate Yeve to the deities normally referred to as mawu or the Almighty
God Mawu. He responded Yeve ye nye Yehowa also called Yehova. It means “Yeve is God” (Personal conversation with Agbayiza July 18, 2006).”
Dr. Nyamuame further recounts an interview with Togbi Midawo Alorwoyie, a high priest (Midawo) of the Yeve cult in the Volta region. During the interview he makes an inquiry regarding the concept of Yeve meaning God or Yaweh:
“his version and understanding of Yeve in the traditional belief system
perhaps also validates what other people have conceived of Yeve. He says, Yeve la eyae nye Mawu. Ebe yee woe. Eye nye nuwo kata worla. Nusianu la yee woe. This literally translates, “Yeve is God. It is He who made it. He is the maker of all things. Everything in the world it is He who made it.”
(Interview with Togbi Alorwoyie September21, 2012).
It is fascinating to look at the relationship between different concepts and
understanding of Yeve. The Ewe word for God, Yehowa or Yehova is similar to that of the Jewish God Yaweh in addition to Togbi Alorwoyie’s explanation of Yeve as He who is the maker of all things, thus, Yee woe."
Throughout my research on the rendering and definition of the name of God, I’ve found that many of the indigenous tribes of West and Northeast Africa often refrain from attempting to define God. During my discussions with other students of the Torah I have often drawn from the ancient pictographic Hebrew to aid in defining the name; concluding that YHUH means the creator and sustainer of life:
Many of the Hebrew tribes in Africa appear to understand what many of us in the U.S. have not yet understood; that is that it is impossible to truly define the Creator of all things. Any attempt to define the Creator places limits on Him because to define literally means “to fix or mark the limits of”. We must humbly accept that the fullness of the Creator is infinite and incomprehensible.