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
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
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.
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