The Kundum Festival lasts eight days and includes events such as drumming and feasting, as well as animal sacrifices by the people’s elders. The sacrifice usually entails the slaughter of a bird in a small room by a few chosen and designated people, usually the town’s elders.
The butchering of the chicken in the stool room is said to cleanse the room and the traditional stool of any evil spirit or bad omen that may befall the chief and his elders, according to folklore.
Another fowl is sacrificed in public at a durbar as a sacrifice to the gods and ancestors of the town, following which the dancers and ladies of the town perform the ritual dance discovered by Akpoley. The remaining days are spent cooking, eating, and dancing.
Thousands of people visit the Ahanta and Nzema areas every year during the festival’s week-long revelry. The majority of those there are invited visitors and tourists who have traveled from far and wide to witness the Kundum and Ahanta people’s culture and festival.
What is the history of the Kundum festival?
The Kundum Festival is said to be the first documented festival in Ghana’s, then the Gold Coast’s, history. The first formal documented celebration was held in the early 17th century by a Dutch vogager named Bossman who landed on the Ghanaian coast. Bossman believed the event had been going on for hundreds of years before he was given the opportunity to create the first known official document outlining its celebration in the late 16th century.
It’s true. Kundum celebration is thought to have originated in Ahanta Aboade, a village on the Tarkwa-Takoradi route. According to legend, while on a hunting excursion, a hunter from Aboade spotted dwarfs dancing to the beat of weird music. The hunter spent a month watching these unusual creatures perform their strange dance before bringing it home. Another tale claims that a palm tree related with the Kundum festival’s inception formerly stood in the village of Aboade. The fruits of this tree ripened only once a year, and over time, this period became a symbolic calendar in people’s lives. The beginning of the festival was signaled by the ripening of the palm fruit.