Tour to Ghana: Dipo ceremonies, Aboakyer festival and Awukudae

A unique amazing journey where we attend three of the most important festivals of the country.

The Krobo region is famous for its pearls and for its initiation rites which only apply to girls – Dipo is the name of the  “process” through which a young girl becomes an adult woman, fully integrated within her society.

Aboakyer, also known as the ‘deer hunting festival’ :  a fabulous opportunity to experience the climax of a Fanti festival.

Awukudae is the exceptional traditional ceremony of the Ashanti people, taking place on specific dates and celebrating the traditional chiefs in an incredible display and abundance of gold.

 

 

  • Duration: 10 days
  • Guide: English speaking
Price from 2260 € Send request
Day 1

IN THE GULF OF GUINEA

Arrival in Accra  and transfer to the hotel. Free time to relax

Day 2-4

DIPO INITIATION

Drive to Krobo land to attend the Dipo Festival, the greatest legacy of this region . The festival lasts 2 days and is one of the most famous and important festivals in West Africa. Dipo, also known as puberty ritual, is a celebration that initiates adolescent girls into womanhood and tradition wants that girls who successfully go through this rite become very good wives.

During these days we will attend also a voodoo ceremony.

The frenetic rhythm of the drums and chants of the adepts help to call the voodoo spirit who takes possession of some of the dancers who fall into a deep trance: eyes rolling back, grimaces, convulsions, insensitivity to fire or pain. In this narrow village, surrounded by the magic atmosphere of a voodoo ceremony, we will finally understand how traditions are still  deeply rooted in African soul.

 

Day 5

ASHANTI

Kumasi is the historical and spiritual capital of the old Ashanti Kingdom. The tribute paid today to the Asantehene (=King) is the best evidence of their past splendour and strength. With nearly one million inhabitants, Kumasi is a sprawling city with a fantastic central market, one of the biggest in Africa.

The program includes a visit to the Ashanti Cultural Centre: a rich collection of Ashanti artefacts housed in a wonderful reproduction of an Ashanti house. In the afternoon we participate – if available – in a traditional Ashanti funeral, attended by mourners wearing beautifully red or black togas. We say “funerals” but it means a “festive” celebration: the deceased in fact is believed to be still with his/her family and through this ceremony he/she becomes an ancestor.

Day 6

GOLDEN KINGDOMS

We attend, Awukudae Festival.

On the Ashanti calendar certain days each year are set aside for a very special celebration at the Royal Palace in Kumasi .

During this celebration, the King sits under a spectacular colorful umbrella, is adorned in vivid cloth and massive centuries old jewelry  and is surrounded by the Ashanti elders and advisors. In front of the King a narrow passage of dignitaries is also formed, representing all roles and positions of power within the kingdom: sword and knife bearers, armed guards, carriers of beautiful ostrich feathers fans etc. The ceremony is then made up of a procession of royal court attendants bringing gifts, storytellers reciting the history of the Ashanti Kings, drummers & trumpeters playing horns of ivory. We will witness and experience the splendour, the flavour and the atmosphere of one of last great African monarchs of the forests.

In the afternoon visit to villages specialized in carving and textile production.

 

Day 7

SLAVE’s CASTLES

Elmina, a name linked to the history of Africa and to general world history. A castle, a port, a village – all in contact with Europe for more than five centuries. The Castle, the oldest European building in Africa, at different times has been used as a warehouse to trade gold, ivory and, eventually, slaves. What we visit today is the result of successive extension works and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Outside the castle, a wonderful fishing village with lots of large colorful fishing boats – every day these canoes are guided by skilled fishermen across strong ocean waves and currents, “fighting” to earn a living.  .

Day 8

FISHERMEN VILLAGES

Visit of Cape Coast Castle. Built by the Swedes in 1653, Today it hosts a museum on the history of the slave trade. In Cape Coast, we also visit the fishing port – tiny and very colorful.

We move  to attend the start of the Aboakey:

Fetish priests and adepts poor libations to the shrines and then the walk across the town with all their fetishes.

Day 9

ABOAKYER FESTIVAL

Today we attend Aboakyer Festival.

Aboakyer, also known as the ‘deer hunting festival’, is organized to honor the tribal God of the town.  Aboakyer Festival involves two groups of people , the Tuafo and the Dentsifo. They compete with one another to go into the bush and be the first to catch a deer. Armed with only clubs, the group who first catches the animal rushes back home singing war and victory songs. After completing this ritual, the deer is lifted up and carried through the town streets by singing and dancing men to the the shrine of Penkye Otu. In the final act of the festival the Tuafo and the Dentsifo come together before their God and sacrifice the deer.

 

Day 10

AFRICAN METROPOLIS

Accra, the capital of Ghana, has maintained its unique identity despite the fast paced development currently underway in this intriguing African city.

The program includes a visit to the National Museum (If open), one of the first works of independent Ghana . We explore the old quarter of James Town, inhabited by the local population known as the Ga. Facing the Ocean is where local native people life fully unfolds: a village surrounded by the city! Our tour continues with the visit of a workshop where they specialize in building fantasy coffins. These special handcrafted coffins can reflect any shape: fruits, animals, fish, cars, airplanes…. the only limit being imagination!

In the evening transfer to the airport for the flight out.

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