A man hurried towards me with a peculiar move when I got off my vehicle into the yard of this delightful celebration in Ghana. Other guests went along with me when we strolled to the celebration court. I grinned, yet with a little dismay when this man with an odd weapon in his grasp moved around us.
Another danceress, wearing African pearls, also went along with him to invite us to the durbar grounds. This time, I calmed down as they moved around us before vanishing. What an intriguing way to invite visitors to the Bakatue Festival in the central part of Ghana.
This beautiful festival has been around since 1847 and has consistently been enlivened by famous people and canny characters in Ghana, including the Paramount Chief himself in the conventional Edina district, Nana Kwadwo Konduah VI and guests everywhere throughout the world.
I glanced around and was intrigued with the mass visit that incorporated the staff of the Ghana Tourism Office, the Chiefs and Edina residents, the police administration, the media and the overall population. The showcase of apparel here was brilliant and enchanting.
The Bakatue Festival 2019 version was titled: “Buy 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 continuous endeavors to battle rising youth joblessness.
Established in 1847, the celebration is celebrated each year on the principal Tuesday in July. At the occasion, I was sitting close to a sharp looking elderly man between the ages of 65 and 68. I noticed that it was a decent open door for me to pose more inquiries about this exceptional celebration, which is constantly celebrated in July.
I tapped him from behind, in the midst of the clamor. He turned and said in my ear: Hello! Mr. How may I help you? Yes, Can you give me a rundown of what this celebration is all about ? He grinned and stated: Oh! That is great, I am upbeat the youthful age like you wants to get familiar with our cultural values.
As indicated by him, the Netherlands are the brains behind this delightful Bakatue celebration that we see here. The Netherlands presented 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.
From that point forward, the celebration denoted the start of the fishing season in Elmina. The name Bakatue originates from a nearby lingo called Fante, which signifies “drainage out of the lagoon”.
The Bakatue festival was purposely propelled to respect the establishing of Elmina by the Portuguese in the beginning of expansionism of the Gold Coast of Ghana. To a similar degree, it is likewise used to thank the divine gods consistently for a decent reap.
During the celebration, the Chiefs of Elmina and their kin commit the primary Monday and Tuesday in July to commend this lovely service. Exercises in this program are engaging.
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 entertainment 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. 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 subsequent day, Tuesday, which is the day the city ocean god is given a lot of regard, rituals are done to invigorate him. Coincidentally, July matches with the yearly rainy season in Ghana, which adds to the good times. But, the downpours doesn’t meddle with the association of this celebration.
It 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 inhabitants cook what is known as a holy feast of eggs and pounded sweet yams, blended in with red cooking oil for the sea god, Nana Brenya. At that point they ask together to look for life span and harmony among the people of Elmina.
On the morning of the celebration, all individuals from the Elmina regal family partake in an imperial walk, which comprises of Chiefs and seat bearers. They will go across all city boulevards and the encompassing zone to declare the celebration.
All the sub-heads run in the wonderful and alluring car seats and move to the encompassing urban areas as they trade merriments with occupants and guests from everywhere throughout the world.
After this parade, the esteemed priest in the town is welcome 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 trailed by an announcement to end the restriction on fishing, drumming, burial services and other cultural exercises in the traditional Elmina territory.
The ladies of Elmina are welcome to take a pontoon ride in the tidal pond with wonderful 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 basically held every year but celebrated in grand style. Numerous remote guests and media from different parts of the world come to report it. My experience was an unforgettable one !!