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Ghana like most other African nations has rich traditional cultures that differ from one ethnic group or tribe to the other. Century old traditions of the people of Ghana, coupled with the diversity distinct ethnic groups, have created a rich culture that is the splendid legacy of modern Ghana.

To the people of Ghana, the traditions of their ancestors are still an important part of daily life. Traditional leaders have historical authority over tribal and family matters, and customary lands are an important heritage.

Important events in life are marked by special rites and rituals. Child naming, puberty initiations, marriage and death are marked by family ceremonies, while seasonal festivals bring a whole people or clan together in spectacular fashion.

Many festivals include thrilling durbars of chief, when tribal leaders and Queen Mothers process in decorated palanquins, shaded by traditional umbrellas, and supported by drummers and warriors discharging ancient muskets.

A careful study of Ghanaian festivals reveal some common features and beliefs. The first and foremost is the belief in life after death and in the nearness of dead ancestors to their living descendants. Some of the major festivals are the Odwira, celebrated by the Akan people of Akwapim, Akwamu, Denkyira and Akyem; the Yam Festival, celebrated by the Akan people of Aburi-Akwapim and several Ewe groups of the Volta Region; the Aboakyir festival of the Effutus of Winneba; the Akwambo festival, celebrated by the Fantes of Agona and Gomoa; the Hobgetsotso festival of the Ewe people of Anlo; the Homowo festival, celebrated by the Gas of Greater Accra; the Damba festival of the Northern and Upper Regions of Ghana; the Bakatue festival, celebrated by the people of Elmina; the Nmayem festival of the people of Odumasi-Krobo; the Asafotufiam festival f the people of Ada and the Adae and Akwasidae festivals of the people of Asante.

In Ashanti, the Adae and Akwasidae festivals vividly bring the splendour of the Asante kingdom to life, when the Asantehene (King), adorned in all his gold regalia, comes out to receive the homage of his people. The Asantehene's dancers, praise-singers and horn blowers surround the King and his procession in never-to-be-forgotten spectacle.

A cultural tourism programme called The Slave Route has been initiated by African countries and UNESCO to rehabilitate, restore and promote the heritage handed down by the slave trade. Countries all over Africa are conserving buildings, sites and memories of this iniquitous period in order that today's tourist can appreciate the dark impact of this era.

As part of preserving Ghana's heritage, several museums have been opened besides the Ghana National Museum. The latter nevertheless remains the most significant effort in the field. The museum started in the Archaeology Department of the University College of the Gold Coast. Subsequently, a permanent home for it was found in Accra where the collections were brought. There remains however, at the Archaeology Department, a small museum which is worth visiting because of the unique collection based on the activities of the university's archaeology staff.