THIS weekend some Ga communities within Ga-Mashie group will begin the celebration of the annual festival of Gas—Homowo.
HOMOWO, a harvest festival, is celebrated by the Ga people from the Greater Accra Region. The festival begins with the sowing of millet by Ga traditional priests in May.
AFTER that, a thirty-day ban on drumming and noise making is imposed on the land by the traditional priests. This ban must be respected by every Ghanaian citizen who lives in any part of the Greater Accra Region.
THE Homowo festival is highlighted at varying times by different quarters of the Ga tribe. For instance, while the Ga-Mashie group of the tribe celebrates Homowo a little earlier, the La group marks theirs just after the Ga-Mashie group have celebrated theirs.
THE festival recounts the migration of the Gas and reveals their agricultural success in their new settlement.
ACCORDING to Ga oral tradition, a severe famine broke out among the people during their migration to present day Accra. And inspired by the famine, they embarked on massive food production exercises which eventually yielded them bumper harvest.
THE hunger, we understand, eventually ended and with great joy Gas “hooted at hunger.” It is line with that that the meaning of Homowo—“hooting at hunger,” was derived.
THUS, Accra and Ga communities within Ga- Mashie will be busy this weekend and in the coming days. This is in respect of the fact that chiefs will be leading their communities to sprinkle their traditional delicacy-kpokpoi– at ancestral homes and cemeteries within the various Ga communities.
IT, therefore, comes as no surprise that a tour of Ga communities in the Greater Accra Region reveals that cemeteries have been cleared of weeds, bushes and tidied up. This is in anticipation of the sprinkling of kpokpoi on the tombs.
HOWEVER, as we wish our Ga brothers and sisters a joyous festival celebration, it is essential that our security agencies keep an eagle eye on some Ga areas which have been identified as flashpoints.
TO buttress the above point, a front page story in the Wednesday, August 09, 2017 edition of the paper indicated that about twenty communities in the Ga West Municipal District have been barred this year from celebrating Homowo.
THE underlying reason, which decision was taken by the Amasaman Traditional Council (ATC), was because of chieftaincy conflicts which could escalate should such communities celebrate Homowo this year.
WE have also learnt that the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs and the Ga Traditional Council have jointly written to the chairman, Regional Security Council, Greater Accra Region, urging him to exercise particular vigilance in some specific communities and royal houses in the Ga State ahead of this year’s Homowo.
IT is in the light of the above that Weekend Today is calling on our Ga brothers and sisters to ensure that we have a peaceful Homowo this year. While calling on Gas to ensure this Homowo is peaceful we also to charge our security agencies to beef up security in flashpoint Ga communities.
THIS move, we believe, can help ward off any Homowo-induced violence this year.