THE BLOOD OF JESUS CLEANSES YOU FROM ALL SIN AND GUILT (1 JOHN 1:7).
JESUS IS THE DELIVERER!!
In 2004 / 2005 I made a missionary trip to Ghana to help establish
a Christian work there. I ministered to the people corporately and privately.
I learned a lot about the people, nation and customs. This lesson is written
about the witchcraft practiced in Ghana. Basically the following is worship
of demons and idolatry of other gods other than THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT.
These bring many spiritual and other problems on Ghana contributing to the condition
the nation is in today.
Significance of Festivals in Ghana
Many of the activities associated with the festivals result
in tensions. We visualize these tensions through the metaphor of call and response
dancers responding to the urgent call of drumming, food-carrying messengers
responding, swaying and bending to the calls of the spirits possessing them.
Women; cooling and praising with fanning cloths, responding to these spirit-laden
messengers. The festival itself is a response to the call of spiritual and social
Fetish priests date back to at least 1733 and have played a
significant role in Ghana. One practice was to drink fetish.
The Black Stool embodies the soul of the State and his authority
to rule over his State.
Paul Isert's Letters (1786)
It is the general custom that if they present a stranger something
to drink they have to try it first, before they present it to him as a sign
that there is no poison in it. This custom may have been necessary in earlier
times where they still tried to get rid of their enemies in that way. Now they
know a more profitable method, they sell them to Europeans.
Festivals Held In The Akupem Traditional Area
It is the festival celebrated on two separate days to mark
periodic visits to the sacred stool house for the performance of the rites of
offering drinks and food to the sacred stools. The chief and his elders offer
prayers to request long life, prosperity, knowledge and good health for the
chiefs, elders and the people of the area.
If someone dies on the day of the Adae or the day before,
it is considered a taboo, since it is viewed as desecration. In that case, the
day is not observed and the relatives of the deceased, have to sanctify the
sacred stools by the slaughtering of sheep.
All forms of noise-making activities are banned: the drums
are not beaten, dirges are not sung, funerals are not held and mourning is banned.
In ahort, it is a period of showing reverence to the gods and sacred stools
by keeping noise levels to the barest minimum.
If anyone refuses to abide by the regulations governing Adaebutuw,
the one is compelled to slaughter a sheep to pacify the gods.
One of the most significant festival celebrated is Odwire,
during which the people sanctify themselves, get in tune with their inner-selves
and make merry to appease their souls. That is the time the people remember
prominent citizens, geniuses and their own deceased relatives.
During the celebration of the yam festival, the newly
harvested yam is taken out doors and the gods are fed with the new yam. Before
the new yam is taken out doors, it is a taboo to carry the raw yam in the open
or sell it in the market place. It is also a taboo to eat new yams.
They feed their gods and ancestors, sanctify themselves and
make merry. After parading the town with the new yam, the executioners go to
the sacred grove to bring the Odwira. They also inform the chief and his elders
about the good job they did at the grove. As they move around, they mark the
foreheads and chest of the chief and his elders with a substance they bring
along, to signify the Odwira blessing.
Wednesday is a very solemn day set aside for mourning the dead.
They also feed their various sacred "stools - both small and great ones.
On Thursday, the drums are beaten and the people bring their
ancestral food. The meals include these belonging to the paramount chief, sub-chiefs
and great personalities who have passed on.
Many of the male adults who during their childhood, were paraded
as the souls and relatives of the carriers, support them on both sides while
they move in the procession to the grove where the ancestors are fed. At the
grove, the chief stool bearer pours water on the ground and recites the following:
Elders, we offer you water, Are you listening? We have no evil intention. It
is once again, time to honor you, feed you and offer you water.
The procession returns to the Mpeni tree, which is considered
as sacred. They proceed to the old palace, the sacred fenced old burial grounds
for departed royals, and the entry points of the various sectors of the town,
to perform the same activities. The elders also perform the rite known as sesadompe
to end the day's celebrations.
The second Sunday, the paramount chief and all the males who
have acted as his soul, sanctify themselves by observing Abam.
The Art and Culture of Ohum and Odwira
Odwira means purification. Like other parts of Ghana, Ohum
and Odwira have important political, social and religious significance.
Purification of the land and people by the chief and priests
for the spiritual and social renewal to face the trials and triumphs of another
year - a high priest sprinkles water mixed with adwira leaves to cleanse and
purify. Royal stools and sacred places are also cleansed.
Mourning those who passed away in the year. Making a new agricultural
year by introduction of new yam, feeding with the brave ancestors who are deemed
to be present on such occasions.
The festivals are mainly the dramatization of sacred
traditions, myths, and legends, handed down by the ancestors of the Oman. Tuesday
has stool washing rituals. Wednesday has State mourning for departed souls.
Libation pouring and other customary rites are performed at the ancestral village.
set aside for general feasting and presentation of gifts to the stool.
By way of re-affirming allegiance to the Paramount Sto'ol,
the chiefs come before the Omanhene, one after the other, to pay homage. After
brief drumming and dancing sessions, the senior state linguist pours libation
for the prosperity of the State and all present.
It is thought that fetish or juju is for the black man. One
very interesting aspect of Akuapem social life is that Christianity is very
dominant, yet the indigenous customs and traditions still exist.
Celebrations Event Day By Day
Monday: Path Clearing: After preparatory sacrifices,
those will leave the town to clear the pathway leading to the royal mausoleum.
It has a symbolic value. It does not only open the gates so that the ancestors
may come in and eat, but also keeps the lines of communication open between
the living and the ancestors so that the ancestors may travel home without hindrances.
Tuesday: Bringing in the Odwira: The group will return with
a purifying, strengthening mixture which has been prepared. They will also bring
other sacred materials, all combining to form the symbol representing the Odwira
which will be ceremonially presented.
Wednesday: Remembering the Departed: Starting from dawn, there
will be general mourning in remembrance of dead relatives in almost every house..
Thursday: Symbolic cleansing of the traditional area and people:
The black stools will be taken to the Adami stream for purification. The ritual
of unification will be done under strict security precautions.
Renewing of allegiance: Chiefs will go to the stool room to
renew their allegiances to the paramount stool.
Feeding the ancestors: Food will be carried in procession to
feed the ancestors. It is significant to note how many of the carriers of this
sacred food are possessed by the spirits of the ancestors.
Customary blessings: Divisional chiefs will meet in the stool
house to renew their allegiance to the Oton Stool.
Friday: Shortly before the great durbar, the ancestral food
of the Asonahene stool will also be sent to Nsorem.
The above practices can be listed under the general practices
spirits possessing those involved with these activities, submitting to fetish priests who worship other gods, eating and drinking fetish and juju food, worshiping and sacrificing to stools, selling their enemies into slavery, following taboos, sacrificing animals, showing reverence to the gods and stools, sanctifying cleansing and purifying themselves for worship of gods, worship of ancestors, worshiping sacred landmarks, dedicating children to dead ancestors, following sacred rites, traditions, myths and legends, and pouring libations. Take the person through deliverance from evil spirits.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
This is a traditional practice that has taken a deep root in
the societies. The practitioners of FGM believe that they were chosen by the
gods to practise this act. Therefore stopping the practice will mean that they
have disobeyed the gods. As a result, the gods will bring hardships on them
and their families; this might result in the death of the practitioner or a
Some traditional beliefs which are incorrect are as follows.
Mothers believe that if their daughters are circumcised, then
they can perform important rites at their funeral. A woman who has not undergone
FGM is considered not clean enough to handle food or water and an unmutilated
female cannot conceive. Some other FGM societies believe that if the clitoris
touches a man's penis that man might die or become impotent. It is also the
belief that the newborn might die if the head touches the mother's clitoris.
If he does not die, then he will become a stubborn child as he grows. The frightening
part is the belief that mutilation would prevent vaginal cancer; for fear of
the unknown, the practice continues.
There are health consequences of FGM, physical complications
and psychological effects: severe pain or bleeding, infection, HIV/AIDS, broken
bones of legs, leaking of urine, painful menstruation, difficulty in the sexual
act and during pregnancy and delivery, agony and pain leading to depression
and isolation, fear of operation, dreading sex because of anticipated pain,
dreading childbirth, frigidity, withdrawal, martial disharmony, dehumanizing,
mutilation, and related characteristics. Pray for the person's healing of body
There are spiritual consequences of FGM: allowing a person
to operate who is practicing witchcraft and is subject to gods (demons), and
spirits associated with demonic traditional beliefs. Take the person through
deliverance from evil spirits.
Additional Subjects To Consider
Do additional research to establish the need for deliverance
and healing from ungodly beliefs, tradition, culture and idolatry from the following:
African Traditional Beliefs
Christianity and African Tradition
Relationship Between Traditional Culture And Christianity
Mysterious natural land formations
Shrines to gods
2004 Akuapem Odwira Festival
The Mirror, Saturday, December 4, 2004
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