Sunday, 18 August 2013

Tradition/Customs/Festivals: Homowo –Akweley Suma, the Twin Ceremony…

Wowwwwww fabulous hair............

Twin sister.....
Twin brother.....

Twinssssssssss ---just lovely


Two sets of twins or quadruplets? Whatever –the situation it is wonderful…






Paulina says: Woww you can spend a thousand years in Ghana amongst its many people, tribes, regions and what-have-yous and still never truly know all of Ghana, its customs, traditions and ways.

The above photos are lovely, we are an incredible people and as always ---I’m blown away especially by the people at the Homowo festivals!!! I only wish I knew more and that I was a twin (laughter).

Also this festival is making me miss Fante school, a Saturday school run by Ghanaians  -my mother used to make my siblings and me go to in Hammersmith, West London. I’m missing the knowledge and would soooo send my little Jojo if such a school was existed...

I’m thinking/predicting…………..that the Homowo’s twin Ceremony is about to be added to the worlds social calendar, making it a must visit festival for twins (and beyond) around the world every year in August… I look forward to a much bigger, more international turn out next year.. It could end up being the biggest tourist draw for Ghana..

The above fabulous photos come courtesy of Talk of Ghana –and are only a few from said ceremony -so do check out the rest via Talk of Ghana at:

More Info
“In a continent that has faced many governmental strains and instability, Ghana has remained one of the wealthier and more productive countries in West Africa.

This is in part due to many natural resources, but I believe it is also because of a very close knit population. Ghana has many tribes, and even though the Ga is not the largest, it contributes largely to the unification of the southern regions of Ghana. This is exemplified most by the Homowo festival, which occurs over of time from the rainy season in May, until the harvest in August. The celebration is one of abundance; in food, fertility, relationships, and kindness. It translates to making fun of hunger.

In reality, the Homowo festival rejoices that the Ga's no longer have to endure hard times of famine and hunger that their ancestors once faced. In a way this is similar to Richard Lee's account of the Kung Bushmen in the Kalahari. In short, I was a perfect target for the charge of arrogance and for the Bushmen tactic of enforcing humility. Even though the! Kung ridicule Lee on his purchase of the ox, it is way to keep them humble and grateful. So as the Ga are not really, ridiculing hunger, it is a way to show their gratefulness and appreciation, by making fun of it.

The Homowo festival is made up of many rituals that includes the ban on noise in June, the Yam festival which requires children to return to the homes of their fathers, the Thursday People, where the harvest food is brought into the streets for all to enjoy. This is followed by a memorial service for the deceased and a celebration for the twins born during the year. The next day, Saturday, is the Homowo day, where large quantities of food is cooked and celebrating occurs in the streets all day and all night. After this celebration, the Ga New Year begins.

The festival begins with the planting of crops before the rainy season in May and continues through August. There is no set time for the festival to end, and is determined by the Chief Priests after they confer with the Lagoon Oracles. At an undetermined date in June, a total ban on noise is placed throughout the state, and fishing is restricted to only certain days. In the beginning of August, the celebration begins with the Yam festival, to honor the Spirits, which are the protectors of the Ga people. All Ga's are required by law to return to the home of their father for the celebration. The central celebration occurs when all of the Ga people who live outside the state return.             

Thousands of people accumulate in Ga cities. On a special day referred to as Thursday People, when the populations swell, Ga's gather in the streets with their freshly harvested food. This is a time for new relationships, music, dance, food, and especially a time for meeting and catching up. At daybreak on Friday, a Memorial Service is held for those who died during the previous year. Often crying is heard is such volume, that it is described as sounding like thunder. Later that day, there is birthday celebration for all of the twins in Ga, which are treasured and viewed as being blessed people.

The actual Homowo Day occurs on Saturday. Food is cooked in extremely large quantities, and feasting begins. A special dish known as kpekpele, is cooked by steaming fermented corn meal and is also eaten with a traditional palm soup and smoked fish. The Ga sub chiefs go to prescribed locations and sprinkle kpekpele in each city. This is then mimicked by the head of each family. Afterwards, the dancing and drumming continues and there is an overall sense of hospitality. The celebrations continue throughout Saturday night and into Sunday, which is the Ga New Year…..

Unlike many lesser known celebrations, the Homowo Festival is growing stronger every year. More Ga's make the journey back to the Accra Plain to participate in the festivities. In fact, residents of Ghana who are not even Ga's travel to see the festival, and because of the Ga's kind disposition, these visitors are invited to participate, try the foods, and even stay in the Ga's homes. The Homowo festival has even been brought to the United States.  For fifteen years, Portland, Oregon has been celebrating the festival, brought to America by Ghanaian master drummer, Oddo Addy. This two day celebration has even been growing in the United States, attracting hundreds of volunteers and participants.

The Homowo festival is a celebration of abundance. It emphasizes the abundance of food that the Ga's have, and remembers the hardship that their ancestors once faced. Abundant fertility is also celebrated; the twins born during the year have their own individual festival where they are blessed. An abundance of kindness is the most noticeable aspect of the festival. Relationships form between young Ga's, friendships begin, old friends reunite, and even outside visitors are welcomed and treated like family. The Homowo festival is long and involves many rituals and ceremonies, but it nevertheless continues to unite the Ga's year after year. Indirectly, this has helped Ghana maintain one its largest tribes, and uphold the same customs and beliefs that Ga's once practiced hundreds of years ago.



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