Mission Picture

Mission Picture
We're in Africa!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Kente Festival 2014

In September before moving to our new place in Kumasi, we had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Kente Festival in Ho, Ghana. It was beautiful, colorful and such an amazing cultural event. Many of the senior couples from Accra attended. We left early on a Friday morning and returned Sunday afternoon. The festival was a week long but we were just there for the end of it. 
“Asia le torme” is a significant indigenous cultural event where women go to the riverside to fetch water for visitors to the festival. It is a tradition of old being kept alive by people today as a demonstration of the good hospitability of the people of Agortime Kpetoe. According to history, this used to be an activity for old ladies and pure maidens. It is beautiful when they all walk back from the riverside in a single file clad in different Kente attire carrying water in bottles to pour in a pot for use by visitors. We did not drink it.
 Mike modeling a Kente robe.  There are also strips of Kente cloth for sale. They are very colorful and beautiful. Each design has a special meaning so it is good to find out the meaning before gifting.

Friday was known as Heroes day at the Kente Festival. Ancestors who died or survived in war are remembered. The people dressed in red and black (funeral colors) and started off in a parade through the town.  They end up at a designated venue for the various clans of Agortime Kpetoe to display their heroism as they return from war. They depict the ranks of the military.  It was very interesting to watch them reenact battles using machetes, muskets and other firearms. There was drumming, music, dancing, costumes and drama.

Saturday is for the Grand Durbar. The traditional leaders of all 37 towns and villages take a procession to the durbar grounds through the principal streets of the town. Dressed in their various traditional regalia, in different patterns of Kente, accompanied by their entourage, amidst loud drumming and dancing and cultural displays they exchange greetings with their people. The sight of this is simply memorable. It was an all day event, a real treat for the senses.

This was the person voted the fastest Kente maker. He was paraded around the field with his Kente loom. 

A tribal chief