Kundum Festival

The Kundum festival is celebrated by the Ahanta and Nzema people of the Western region of Ghana. It is celebrated to thank God for the abundance of food at the time of the harvest period in the area.

Oral tradition and folklore claim that the festival got its start when the hunter Akpoley came across some dwarves dancing in a circle while on an expedition. He went back to his town and shared the dance with his people after watching it. The ritual dancing is connected to driving out the devil and evil spirits from cities and towns. The majority of the population of Axim and the nearby towns performs the dance during the festival. It originated with the Nzema people and advanced to the Ahantas in the Western region of Ghana.

Women dancing at Kundum Festival

The festival lasts for four weeks, but the first three weeks see most of the action, especially the drumming and dancing, only at night and outside of the towns in a location called Siedu or Sienu. In each of the towns that make up the Ahanta and Nzema paramountcy, the festivals take place separately. Each town determines on its own which Sunday its local festival will begin.

The attendees dress in distinctive attire, wear unique shoes, and occasionally wear masks. On the outskirts of the city, five different shrines are visited by musicians as the festival gets underway. Rum is poured on the ground as a libation and requests are made at the shrines for the town’s welfare.

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Sophia Celestina Apenkro

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