A man rushed towards me with an exceptional move when I got off my vehicle into the yard of this awesome festival in Ghana. Other visitors went along with me when we walked around the festival court. I smiled, yet with a little consternation when this man with an odd weapon in his grip moved around us.
Another danceress, wearing African pearls, additionally obliged him to welcome us to the durbar grounds. This time, I quieted down as they moved around us before ‘disappearing’. What a captivating way to welcome guests to the Bakatue Festival in the central part of Ghana.
This lovely festival has been around since 1847 and has reliably been enlivened by famous people and shrewd characters in Ghana, including the Paramount Chief himself for the regular Edina locale, Nana Kwadwo Konduah VI and visitors wherever all through the world.
I looked around and was fascinated with the mass visit that incorporated the staff of the Ghana Tourism Office, the Chiefs and Edina occupants, the police service, the media and the general populace. The feature of attire here was splendid and captivating.
The Bakatue Festival has alaways been celebrated with a theme – and the 2019 rendition was titled: “Purchase Made in Ghana Products, Use Made in Ghana Goods, and Promote Jobs for the Young Generation”. This has been a part of Nana Kwadwo Konduah VI’s persistent projects to fight rising youth joblessness in his town.
Set up in 1847, the festival is celebrated every year on the first Tuesday in July. At the event, I was sitting near a sharp looking older man between the ages of 65 and 68. I realized it was a good opportunity for me to suggest more conversation starters about this excellent celebration, which is continually celebrated in July.
I tapped him from behind, amidst the noise. He turned and said in my ear:
Hello! Mr. How may I help you? I replied him: Can you give me a rundown of what this celebration is all about ? He grinned and said: ‘Oh! That is great, I am upbeat the youthful age like you wants to get familiar with our cultural values’.
As revealed by him, the Netherlands are the brains behind this magnificent Bakatue festivity that we see here. The Netherlands introduced the festival to occupants of Edina in 1847. In a report put together by Governor Cornelius Nagtglas in 1860, the Bakatue Festival was a part of the city’s advancement program. The Dutch understood the enthusiasm the individuals had about angling thus figured it would be a smart thought to dispatch this function for them.
Starting now and into the foreseeable future, the festival signified the beginning of the fishing season in Elmina. The name Bakatue originates from a close by language called Fante, which implies “seepage out of the tidal pond”.
The Bakatue festival was deliberately impelled to honour the building up of Elmina by the Portuguese in the start of expansionism of the Gold Coast of Ghana. To a comparable degree, it is additionally used to thank the celestial divine beings reliably for a good reap.
During the festival, the Chiefs of Elmina and their family submit the essential Monday and Tuesday in July to compliment this dazzling help. Activities in this program are locks in.
I was extremely keen about the cultural rituals that are performed here. On the Mondays as referenced over, all the typical activities required are done with shading rendering from different amusement programs.
Also, one intriguing thing that I saw during this show was the point at which one of the Sub-Chiefs behind these festivals brought two fingers up in the sky positioned towards the dancers, which implied his support and appreciation for what was going on at the durbar grounds. From a distance, you could even see the shining beautiful arm ornament on Chief’s arm hanging and “singing” as he lifts his hand.
On the resulting day, Tuesday, which is the day the city sea god is given a ton of respect, ceremonies are done to strengthen him. Circumstantially, July coordinates with the yearly blustery season in Ghana, which adds to the great occasions. But, the downpours doesn’t meddle with the association of this celebration.
is believed that the gods could stop the downpours in territories where the Bakatue Festival is held or celebrated until the whole festival is over. On this day, fishermen are not permitted to go to the sea to show respect to the gods.
The Paramount head, subchiefs and Elmina occupants cook what is known as a blessed blowout of eggs and beat sweet potatoes, mixed in with red cooking oil for the ocean god, Nana Brenya. Then they approach together to search for life length and concordance among the people of Elmina.
On the morning of the festival, all occupants from the Elmina royal family participate in a royal walk, which includes Chiefs and seat carriers. They will go across all city streets and the enveloping areas to proclaim the festival.
All the sub-heads run in the brilliant and charming vehicle seats and move to the incorporating metropolitan territories as they exchange good times with tenants and visitors from all over the world.
After this parade, the esteemed priest in the town is invited to play out the essential and last customs to peak the entire occasion. He moves to the sea, encompassed by his subordinates, the priest tosses his net into the Brenya sea multiple times to catch fishes. This is followed by an announcement to end the restriction on fishing, drumming, burial services and other cultural exercises in the traditional Elmina territory.
The women of Elmina are then invited to take a barge ride in the lagoon with magnificent Kente textures and bespoke neighborhood caps. Promptly a while later, the imperial procession is sent to the Chief’s royal residence, with reciting customary melodies.
In the interim, fishes caught by the traps during the function are offered to the gods as an image to say thanks to them for the collect. After this Thanksgiving, there are in every case loads of fun cooking in different city diversion focuses.
The Bakatue Festival is held every year in grand style. Numerous remote guests and media from different parts of the world also come to cover documentaries around it. My experience was an exceptional one !!