Krobo Millet Festival

Kofi Nartey writes:

This year’s Krobo Millet Festival is slated to be over the last week in October until the first week of November 2014. Read Below story about the festival:

THE MILLET (NGMAYEM) FESTIVAL

The festival is a 7 days of religious, social and other celebration that enables the citizens to renew their love, unity, solidarity and express their gratitude to God for His blessings manifested in good harvest, riches, good health, protection from enemies etc.

The Ngmayem Festival which in the remote past was celebrated by priests only was reconstituted as a communal festival in the 1940s by the late paramount king “Konor Oklemekuku nene Azu Mate Kole II” to promote solidarity among the people and to mobilize the people for development.

The Krobos who hold their ancestors in high veneration remember them on the occasion of the festival. Prior to the festival, Socio-economic activities such as: performance of marriage rights, resolution of family conflicts, funerals to commemorate the dead, etc are organized by the community folks.
The festival unites the people as one cultural entity and the youth are provided with the opportunity to learn the culture of their people and to make friends and choose spouses.

Durbar, inter-denominational Church Services Harvest and Thanksgiving Services, Fund raising activities for the Development of the community and other get-together are held as a means of cementing tiers among the people.
Concerts, football matches and other forms of entertainment are important features of the festival. Government Officials, who often attend these occasions, explained government policies and assist to implement development programs.

RITES CONNECTED WITH THE NGMAYEM FESTIVAL

A discussion of the beliefs of the Krobos and the way their traditional religious worship is organized can be a lengthy affair. Some rites are however intrinsically connected with the Ngmayem festival and their explanation is relevant.
When the Krobos sojourned on the Krobo Mountain, millet was their staple food. For years now the menu of the Krobos has changed so much that very little significance is attached to the cultivation of millet. Notwithstanding, millet farms are kept by the Nana Kloweki priest for ritual purposes.

MILLET PLANTING RITES – KODAKPAMI

The ritual of hooting (Kodakpami) is a ceremony in which the priest leads the Krobo people to confess their personal and social sins like adultery abortion, murder, cursing and sorcery. In this condition, the deities are expected to bless the growing of new seeds. the ceremony is also to announce the start of the sowing season.

The moral essence of the ceremony is that the priests profess their integrity and innocence, which confers on them the moral authority to tad the people spiritually.

The sowing of the millet follows later. Ten weeks after Kodokpami, the millet is harvested. This is used to in a series of rites after which the people are free to eat the new millet.

At the grand durbar at Lasi, the head priest pours libation for blessing in the new year for good harvest, fertility, good health, riches and protection from enemies and general well being. The millet seeds are shared to the people as a symbol of blessing.

At the durbar ground, the paramount king, the Divisional Chiefs ,Queen mothers, the general public, invited guests, tourists, government officials converge to climax the week long celebration with a colorful durbar.

The paramount king ‘Nene Sakitey II’ has used the forum to launch the Konoe Educational Endowment Fund, addressing issues of HIV/AIDS and other pertinent issues affecting the Manya Krobo State.

OFFERING OF THE FIRST YAM (KWOJOFOMI)

The offering of the first yam, a ceremony at which blessing is also sought for the people is another yearly festival, which is performed seven weeks after the Kodakpami celebration.

The rites performed by the Likpotsu priest of the Djebiam-Agbom. In this ceremony the new yam is offered to the deity before the priest can eat it. The Priest Okomo, Asa and Adzime take part in the ceremonies.

The purpose of the rites is the cleansing and blessing of the throat so that people can enjoy the new yam. The libation prayer pleads for blessing, strength, children, riches, food and rain for good harvest.

VISIT TO THE KROBO MOUNTAIN

The Krobo sojourned on the Krobo Mountain for over 400 years. Though the mountain was abandoned in 1892, the Krobos’ emotional and spiritual attachment to the mountain remains intact. To maintain this emotional and spiritual attachment, the Krobos visit the mountain during the festival week on Thursday. One attraction is viewing the various artifacts left behind by our ancestors who were forced to desert the mountain in 1892.

In recent times a mini durbar is held and other recreational activities, are organised at the foot of the mountain, to entertain the numerous visitors to the mountain.

VISIT TO THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM (AKLEME)

In Africa traditional religion, though the ancestral spirits are no longer present with us in physical form, they continue to exert influence on the lives of the living. They are consulted in libation during several occasions like Naming Ceremony, marriage Rites and in any major family event.

The same veneration is extended to public-spirited Krobos who have been buried in the royal mausoleum, which is visited on the Wednesday during the week long celebration. There is general mourning in the families, Libation is poured in the memory of the dead as expression of our continuous union with them.

CELEBRATION BY THE DIVISIONS

As part of the week long general celebration, the six Divisions also celebrate to address various concerns pertaining to their divisions. the time table is as follows:

Monday – Djebiam

Tuesday – Piegnua/Manya

Thursday – Akwenor/Suisi/Dorm

THANKSGIVING SERVICE

A joint Denominational Thanksgiving Service is organised to thank the Almighty God for this numerous blessings and also for sustaining our lives. The service is led by the Christian Churches.

This year festival shall be a memorable one. For booking and reservation contact Us:
Homeland Exploration Tours
2nd Floor, Jimmy Building,
P. O. Box SA 173
Somanya, E/R,
Ghana 23321.
Phone: +233244817772 (Ghana). +19184099323(U.S.A) +32475878480(Belgium)
http://www.facebook.com/homelandexploration

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