Asafotufiam Festival

The Asafotufiam Festival is celebrated by the chiefs and peoples of Ada in the Dangbe East of the Greater Accra region of Ghana. The festival is celebrated in the first week of August every year.

The celebration is said to begin on Thursday of the first week of August, when sons and daughters, well-wishers, and visitors from other cities arrive in the town. The Thursday is set aside for house cleaning rituals, libation pouring at each family’s respective shrine, and vigil keeping.

On Friday morning, the two companies (Asafo) beat their respective drums to call their members to the march to Luhuese, which is outside of Big Ada and where they are required to go. 

Asafotufiam Festival

All young men who reach puberty are then initiated into their respective Asafo companies by being shown how to handle, load, and fire a gun for the first time, in accordance with an ancient custom.

The initiates are then instructed in war formation and ancient military strategies. They stay like this until late in the afternoon, at which point they return to Big-Ada while firing muskets and shouting war cries, dressed in traditional military garb and adorned with leaves and palm branches symbolizing conquering heroes.

Asafotufiam Festival

The procession continues to “Kpomkpo-Panya,” where the Asafo companies form a single file along the riverside and fire three consecutive volleys into the river, dip their feet into it, and wash their hands to symbolize the carrying away of all evil and a bad omen of the year. Singing, musketry firing, and dancing continue until sunset at which point the procession ends.

All Asafo companies adherents participate in the ritual foot dipping and hand washing ceremony. The procession then splits up, and everyone goes home in the midst of joyful songs.

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Sophia Celestina Apenkro

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