Akwambo Festival – The Path Clearing

by Kojo Pocu
Akwambo festival

The Akwambo festival is celebrated by the chiefs and peoples of the Agona area in the Central region of Ghana. The festival is celebrated in August every year and it is the biggest annual event in the Agona Gomoa districts.
Traditionally, Akwambo is the beginning of the New Year in Fanti folklore. Until recently, when leaders of various churches begun undermining the importance of traditional activities, it was the most important event in the lives of the Fanti people of the Central Region. The festival is to celebrate and also remember the founding fathers and the first settlers of the four towns in Agona town, Ekumfi Ekrawfo, Atakwaa, and Otabenadze.

The name Akwambo, in the local language, means “Path Clearing” and normally people refer to the festival as Path Clearing festival. Celebrations are held at various times of the year, usually lasting for several days, and can include different activities according to local custom. However, most Akwambo festivals share certain common customs such as the ritual PATH CLEARING, a public gathering known as a DURBAR, and family or community reunions. There may also like music and dance performances, soccer games, and parades. In some areas, young people hold an all-night party.

Akwambo festival

The durbar is led by the Chiefs and traditional council of elder. During the durbar, there are a lot of activities that are performed such as drumming, dancing, and speech presentation by the chiefs and other government delegates.
During such a big festival, offerings are made to honor the town’s ancestors. It is believed that the ancestral spirits continue to stay with us by providing protection, good fortune, and blessings in the form of rain and successful harvests. Offerings normally take the form of libations poured on the ground or food items scattered on the water. This offering is made by the chiefs and the royal families.

The path clearing is the most important part of the Akwambo festival. During this part of the event, every member of the community is expected to participate in clearing the paths and roads leading to the town. And as well as those that provide access to streams, rivers, farms, shrines, and communal spaces. Unpaved footpaths are weeded and maintained, while paved roads are ritually swept with branches, brooms, and fans made of leaves. This is the most active part of the ceremony.

Akwambo festival is one of the most popular festivals in the Central Region of Ghana. Town people living far away or outside the country visit to reunite. Most locals and foreign tourists also enjoy the ceremony, by meeting new people and learning new culture.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.