The music, songs, drumming and dance that students learn on the tour often originate from traditional rituals and ceremonies. These include ceremonies to mark significant events in everyday life like births, weddings, funerals as well as rituals from traditional religion.
Traditional religions in Ghana all believe in one higher almighty being and then several lesser deities who are concerned with the everyday spiritual and material needs of the community. These deities are referred to as Fetishes and are invoked in traditional rituals.
These religious rituals are referred to as Fetish ceremonies and usually involve a Fetish priest or priestess who conducts the ceremony. Fetish men and women are highly respected in the community and are called upon to provide advice and guidance on a number of issues.
We commence every tour with a special ceremony where we invite the high priest of the area to welcome us to the traditional land and then call upon the ancestral spirits to help us have a successful tour.
We feel that it is important for tour participants to learn about other cultural aspects of Ghana in addition to just the music and as part of the tour we take students to observe and perhaps participate in a Fetish ceremony.
Some common Fetish ceremonies in the areas we visit in Ghana involve the Tigari and Kpele religious sects where traditional master drummers accompany the Fetish priest or priestess who dances into trance and is possessed by the Fetish.
These ceremonies can be observed by believers who see it as part of a religious ceremony or by non believers (many Ghanaians are Christian) who can view this solely as traditional cultural practice.
a traditional welcome