…The world marked National Folklore Day by celebrating cultures across the globe but Ghana went one better and had a week-long set of events dedicated to exploring our cultures and dispelling some myths surround them. That is when I learnt that the hill that the University of Ghana is built on was a sacred grove (Ga aklabatsa) of the La people.
…and that the concept of the devil did not exist in ‘Ghanaian’ cultures before the arrival of Christianity. Sasabonsam was neither an enemy of God or mankind but a troublesome impish creature….
I learnt these facts through the National Folklore Board when they launched their campaign in August 2018 promoting Ghanaian heritage.
They’ve relaunched the campaign with new content that I am contributing to, which you may have seen on social media on Mondays and Fridays.
The aim is to get us engaged with our heritage a bit more and hopefully challenge some of the notions we’ve grown up with. It also questions what is ours, what we have inherited and ideas around ownership and identity……..
So kaba from kaba and slit is not indigenous to Ghana (it’s Nigerian), neither is cassava or cowries and the word kenkey is derived from the Malay/Tamil meaning cooked rice….
Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante, acting director of the National Folklore Board, said: “The ‘Did You Know’ Series is the first of such innovative and exciting ways in which the National Folklore Board seeks to promote Ghanaian folklore. The Series consists of interesting folklore facts which address aspects of our folklore such as our food, languages, names, festivals, sites, fashion, songs, gestures, dance, musical instruments, rites of passage, symbols and many more.”
If you like the posts or are interested in exploring this topic as a blog, I have included the National Folklore Board’s press release and also the social media handles are there too.
Find out more about the National Folklore Board Ghana on Twitter and Instagram @folkloreGH