Three pundits of culture have said the adaptation of hymns as borborbor songs was adulterating the significance of that rhythmical dance form.
Professor Mawulolo Amegado, Lecturer at York University, Toronto, Dr Kodzo Gavua, Senior Lecturer, Heritage Department, University of Ghana and Mr Walter Blege, Musicologist and a retired educationist, agreed that the phenomenon was slowly digging at the roots of the Borborbor dance.
The three were speaking at the second Borborbor Festival on Friday in Ho, held under the aegis of the Volta Regional Directorate of the Centre for National Culture (CNC).
Borborbor is a popular recreational dance form of the northern Ewes, but now widely played across the country and beyond.
Normally, dancers move in circles around the drummers and singers in calculated movement of the legs while wriggling the waist.
Professor Amegado said Borborbor, which started at Wusuta, spread to Kpando, Hohoe and later to Ho before catching on with the rest of Ghana, must not be divorced from its contextual beginnings.
He conceded that the dynamics of change would affect it as seen in the different names and rhythms associated with Borborbor but insisted that the important ingredients linking it to its founders should not be lost.
Professor Amegado said Borborbor was essentially recreational with the theme of accompanying songs reflecting social relations, unity, gratitude, love, critiques, sorrow and social commentaries.
Dr Gavua said Borborbor groups, besides offering entertainment, were local management training avenues where leadership and organizational skills were learnt.
He urged the existing groups and new ones to be formed to register with the Registrar General’s Department for easy reference and contact as that dance form was an important marketable commodity.
Mr Blege said the notion that culture was only dance and drumming was wrong and that culture included all that identified people as one people, such as clothes, food, religion and morals.
Mr Blege urged present musicians and social commentators to emulate the examples of those who produced the Borborbor songs in the past as the Volta Region was “the musical basket of Ghana”.
Mr Emmanuel Quao, Volta Regional Director of the CNC, said the institution of the festival was to fight the adulteration of the Borborbor music and dance forms.
He expressed the hope that the Centre would get the funding in the coming years to make the festival bigger.
Performing groups included Have Number 2, Dumenyo Borborbor Groups and the Adagana Dance Company from Wusuta which thrilled the crowd with ancient dance forms such as Fontonfrom, Asiko and others for the valiant with Mary Sante, Agnes Atta and Erica Nibo, teenage members, alternating at the big drums.