Traditional dance in Ghana are numerous and thanks to the large ethnic tribes in the community. In the north region we have the Gonjas tribe, in the south, we have the Akans, and to the east, we have the Ga and Adangbe tribe and last but not least the Gurunsi people.
Among these people are diverse cultures and traditions. Each peculiar and specific to the tribe. For a better understanding of traditional dance in Ghana, let us explore a bit about the land, it’s people, cultures and traditions.
Welcome my friends. Is me once again. Bringing to you, African culture like never before. Today, we will be travelling to West Africa Ghana. Where we will learn about some traditional dance in Ghana.
Overview Of Ghana Culture
In the Akan tribe, each generation takes over the lands his forefathers have farmed. They also stand as a religious group upholding the belief of ancestors, carry out marriage rites and also settle the dispute within the clan.
The Akan king is popular for his splendour and wealth. The golden stool is one traditional celebration made in honour of the king. Their profession includes weaving, ceramics, wood carving and the making of Kente cloth. The men are solely responsible for making this tribal kente cloth.
Different ethnic groups practice division of Labour between the male and females. In the Akan tribe, the women are responsible for domestic activities and taking care of the children while both men and women carry out farm duties.
The males carry out the heavier works on the farm, and the women do less task work. Women can also have a small scale business alongside taking care of the home.
The women in the Ga tribe are good with trading. So they go less to the farm and do more trading. These tribal women hold the highest number of market traders in Ghana.
Major Cultures In Ghana
In terms of marriage, the elders in the family fix the engagement. One can marry from relatives but closer relatives like fathers sister/ mothers sister are given preference. One can many wives as he likes if he can take care of them. The chiefs in the community marry as many wives as possible, to show off their authority.
Upon the death of a spouse, the wife will marry the husband’s brother and in-turn, the brother must take care of the children. In Ghana, the sole purpose of marriage is to bear children, if there are none, divorce is allowed and so is remarriage.
Ghanaians place a significant role in respect and politeness. Upon the visit of a friend, you must shake hands and ask about each other family before the purpose of the meeting commence. Also if you are eating and a friend walks in, you must invite him/ her to join. If it is a close relationship, the visitor might join but if you are not, you can politely decline the offer.
There is three major religion in ghana. We have Christianity, Islam and African traditional religion. All three religions are popular and practice in the regions. Like other African countries, the Ghanaians also believe in the supernatural, the gods, ancestors and spirits.
Dances in Ghana
There are several dances in ghana and may be attributed to a person, or God. Also, these dances are tribe specific. First on the list is…
This is a tribal dance from the Ewe people. The group involve mainly female performers holding and handkerchief and swinging it in the air. It is a traditional dance performed in the mid volta regions of Ghana and Togo.
The ability of the dancers to swing the handkerchief and dance rhythmically to the beats of the music is the amazing aspect of the dance. While the ladies shake their waist to the beat, they spin the handkerchief like a windmill.
The handkerchief can be white, black or red depending on the costume of the performers. Also, the dancers can put on socks to protect their feet and they can also go barefooted. However, I think the socks is more of a modern tradition being added to this traditional dance in ghana.
Borborbor dance is performed at funerals as a farewell dance, at festivals and celebration.
This dance is like a rain dance. A dance to the gods for rain after a long drought in the 19th century. It is a performer of only male dancers dressed in female attire. It is believed that the gods answer the women prayers quickly. So to gain favour with the gods, the men dressed as females.
It is a dance from the Dagbamba tribe, northern Ghana. Bamaya dance is a dance that involves more leg and waist movement. The distinctive movement of legs and shaking of the waist is the highest point in the performance.
Each member in a group is expected to bring out his creativity in shaking the waist. There are no basic costumes either as a dancer can wear what sorts him but all members in a group must be in uniform.
The dancers are usually barefoot and some ware rattles on their legs, and also carry horsetail.
Besides, this traditional dance in Ghana can pass more for a celebration dance because of it’s fast pace and rhythm. There are no dull moments during performers. You will be at the edge of your seat all through for this marvellous display of culture.
This is an energetic dance that is prominent among the Ga- Adangbe tribe in Accra. It is a dance movement that reflects the issues affecting society. For example, political issue, social, freedom and justices, rights of citizens, and above all an expression of how you feel.
Kpanlogo traditional dance in Ghana is a dance that has lots of movement. We have high kicks, leg movement, distinct formations and waist movement. It can be called a recreational dance. A dance that blends the dancers into the community.
Anyone can practice and learn these dance steps cause they are fun and friendly. This dance can also be performed as a celebration dance. Furthermore, every African country has a celebration dance. We can learn about Nigeria dance, South Africa dance and Kenya traditional dance in our previous post.
In the Akan language, Adowa means “antelope”. It is a traditional dance movement in Ghana that depicts the movement of the sacrificial antelope.
The dancer tells tales during the performance, give warnings, or narrate a terrible act by an individual.
Costumes are usually elaborate and their leg, hand and head beads add more beauty to the costume.
This is a traditional ghana dance of praise. Praise to the creators and caretaker of the dancers. It is a dance from the northern region in ghana and it is performed in social gatherings.
A calabash is a tool used during the traditional Nminal dance. It can be used as a musical instrument/prop in the dance.
In Africa, there are diverse cultures. They are interesting, fun and educative. Traditional dance in ghana is unique and distinctive.
After a long study of these dance styles, Nmina, Adowa, Kpanlogo, Bamaya and Borborbor dance, I can say for a fact that traditional dance in Ghana is a strong cultural practice in the lives of the people.
Thanks, friends, I hope you enjoyed this. Do let me know your thoughts about this dance culture. Also, please do not forget to follow and subscribe to our blog, to get updates on our latest post.