Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Our last day in Ghana, I took a tour to Tangorme Village to visit the Ehweh tribe, one of 45 main tribes in the country, with each having its own language and dialects.  In 1844 the British captured several of the chiefs and had them sign a bond for 100 years.  That ended in 1944, when the world was at war, so the status quo remained until 1960, when Ghana, then named the Gold Coast, became the first African country to gain independence from a colonial power.  Kwame Nkruhmah, who believed in African unity and Karl Marx, was the first Prime Minister.

Ceremonies were overseen by the king
We went past Kpong Dam, built by the USA to provide cheap hydroelectric power for Kaiser aluminum.  The village we visited is just down the road.  The dam created a lot of environmental problems, but also jobs and training.  It is now run by a Ghanaian company.

The village consists of several stone block buildings, including a school.  The first thing we did in the village was greet all the elders.  They had folding chairs set up for us so we didn't have to sit on the ground.  Then we had a naming ceremony.  Our names were based on our birth dates and the day of the week we were born.  Mine is Delali, which they said means "saved by God."  All the names had religious meanings, but whether they are Christian I am not sure.  When our names were called everyone clapped and we went up front to get a pottery bowl with our old and new names on it, plus a bead bracelet.  The beads are very colorful and the area is known for them.  Then there was lots of singing and dancing.
...and the Prince.  Elders are in the background
Jim learns the Ghanian boogie
After the ceremony, which lasted a couple of hours(!), we went to see their pottery making.  They make the pots by hand and dry them in the sun.  They use a natural dye for glazing.  During this time the kids were trying to sit with us and hold our hands.  They didn't ask us to buy anything, although they had a small table selling ugly statues.  We did pay for the tour, though, and it was all a tad too commercial for me, especially knowing that another SAS group had been there the previous day.  Do they do this every day?  Twice a day?

Making pots.  Backache???
Village schoolgirls

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