The residents of Anlo in Ghana’s Volta Region celebrate the Hogbetsotso Festival. The festivities begin in November at Anloga, the Anlo state’s traditional and ritual capital.
Festival is a day when the Ewe-Dogbo people are emancipated from the control of tyrant King of Kings Torgbui Agorkorli of Nortsie in Togo, and recollections of mythical exodus and heroic acts of men of bravery and their mystical powers are brought to life. Nortsie is thought to be the site of a large Anlo exodus.
Origin Of Hogbetsotso Festival
HOGBETSOTSO is derived from the word ‘HOGBE’ or ‘HOHOGBE’, which refers to the day of exodus, when the Ewes in the Dogbo quarter of the walled city of Nortsie in Togo walked backwards to flee the oppressive monarch Agorkorli. The people organised this annual “Exodus Festival” to honour the exodus and the valour of their traditional kings who guided them on the trek.
Why is Hogbetsotso Festival celebrated?
Every year on the first Saturday in November, Hogbetsotso commemorates the Anlo people’s evacuation from Notse, Togo, to their current site.
The inhabitants of Anlo previously lived in Notsie, a town in modern-day Togo, according to oral tradition. The Anlo people were subjected to mistreatment and enslavement by the Notsie chief known as King Agorkoli throughout their time in Notsie, mostly because they were a minority population in Notsie.
They made the decision to flee Agorkoli’s oppressive regime after decades of suffering. They began by pouring water through the mud wall that encompassed the settlement on a regular basis. The wall got exceedingly soft over time, allowing them to burst through and flee the town. The journey, which is thought to have taken them years, finally brought them to their current home in Ghana’s Volta area. It is from this history that the name Hogbetsotso (Ewe language) was derived, which means ‘Coming from Notsie.’
The celebration serves as a time for sombre reflection, reminding the chiefs and people of Anlo of their tough trip from Notsie and how peaceful cooperation and solidarity among them made their journey and escape possible. Some of the key events that take place in the participating villages are the pouring of libations, the cleansing of stools, and general cleaning of the communities.
How is Hogbetsotso Festival celebrated?
Every year on the first Saturday of November, the Hogbetsotso Festival commemorates and celebrates the Anlo people’s evacuation from Notse, Togo, to their current site.
The festival is marked by centuries-old customs such as the pouring of libation, the cleansing of stools, and general community cleaning. The people believe that the best way to live life is to have a clean environment and a clean spiritual life, which is why the physical surroundings are cleaned and the stools used by the elders and chiefs of the towns are cleansed.
Hogbetsotso culminates with a durbar, which the chiefs utilise to remind the people of Anlo to live in peace and harmony, just as their forefathers did. The durbar concludes with drumming, traditional dancing, and merrymaking, during which feuding parties are expected to come together and resolve their issues as a show of peacemaking.
Where is The Hogbetsotso Festival Celebrated?
The Hogbetsotso celebration, which takes place over a week, commemorates the migration of the Anlo-speaking Ewes, an ethnic group on Ghana’s eastern coast, from the old walled city of Notsie in modern-day northern Togo to their current home in Ghana.
Ghana Travel Restrictions
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