Effutu Traditional Area celebrates Aboakyer in splendour

The highly patronised annual Aboakyer Festival of the people of Effutu (Winneba) was raised to another lever on Saturday, with a captivating display of rich cultural heritage, tradition and vibrant festivities.

The annual event holds immense significance to the people of Effutu, drawing participants, mostly indigenes, festival goers, tourists and spectators across the country and more to converge on Winneba to be part of the celebration.

The cultural masterpieces are deeply rooted in the rich history and traditions of the Effutu people as a symbol of unity, thanksgiving and renewal.

The festival serves as an opportunity for locals to reconnect with their cultural roots and showcase their unique heritage to visitors.

The colourful ceremony was graced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-Addo, ministers of state, and traditional authorities from Gomoa Akyempim and Ajumako Traditional areas, who were joining for the first time after many years of division.

Queen Mothers in their beautiful regalia, sat gracefully in state, with Winneba Charlottesville Sister City Commission delegates from the United States and scores of revellers across the globe present to be part of history.

The celebration was on the theme: “Promoting Tradition and Development through Aboakyer.”

The festival commenced on Saturday, April 27, with activities including clean-up exercises, health walk and parading of the gods through the principal streets of Winneba.

Leading the procession were the Tuafo Number One and Dentsefo Number Two Asafo companies.

Also present were the sub-chiefs, queen-mothers, family heads, groups, youth groups and hundreds of celebrants.

Heralding the procession was Neenyi Ghartey VII, the Effutu Omanhen Traditional Area who was carried in a beautiful palanquin as he showed his dancing skills in appreciation to God, the ancestors, and his people.

Whilst many residents danced to wonderful renditions of frontomfrom drumming and contemporary Afropop music, others who were spiritually inclined chanted traditional war songs to the admiration of all.

The first catch of a live bushbuck from the ancestor’s sacred hunting forest, which signified the peak of the event, was brought to the mammoth durbar ground by the Dentsefo Number Two Asafo group.

Later, the Tuafo Number One also brought theirs and presented to Neenyi Ghartey to step on it three times, symbolising the acceptance by  the god, Penkye Otu, for further customary rites. 

The history of the festival was that  the vibrant coastal town, known today as Winneba (Effutu), unfolded as a mesmerising tapestry woven with threads of ancient traditions.

Its genesis lies in the adoration and reverence for Penkye Otu, the principal deity, who guided the Simpa people from the historic land of Timbuktu, situated 20 kilometres north of the Niger River, to their present location.

The ancestors, throughout their arduous journey and settlement, annually propitiated their deity, a transformative shift occurred during the reign of King Bondze Enyinam in the 1400s.

He made a transition from the use of human blood to the symbolic sacrifice of a live bushbuck (Deer) called “Wansan”, in the local dialect.

In effect, the Aboakyer Festival on arrival of the bushbuck was born, infusing the air with the celebration spirit.

Source: GNA

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