Akan Leadership Art and Ceremony

by Michelle Gilbert
Trinity College

Akropong-Akwapim (Akuapem) Odwira festival, Ghana. Photo by Michelle Gilbert.

Odwira continues for another three weeks while lesser rites are concluded.  On Sunday the king goes to church.  The following Thursday the ashes that remain from cooking food for the royal ancestors are thrown away at the edge of the town.  The purification of the town complete, what remains is the king himself.  On Friday (Fida Fofie) the king’s soul (kra) is purified and blessed in a small semi-private rite in the palace.  The king and his soul-people wash and then eat together.  This is the first time the king eats yam.  Later townspeople are offered food by the king and in the afternoon, chiefs and ritual officials meet in the palace to bless the king.  At the end the king and town are blessed by the chief who traditionally blesses marriages: he prays that good should come and evil should go.