The Republic of Ghana is a country in West Africa. It borders Cote d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south.
West Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the United Nations subregion of Western Africa includes 16 countries distributed over an area of approximately 5 million square km.
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The northern border of Ghana begins at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert.
The Sahel Belt is a semi-arid tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion in Africa, which forms the transition between the Sahara to the north and the slightly less arid savanna belt to the south, known as the Sudan belt. A savanna, or savannah, is a tropical, subtropical or temperate woodland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the Canopy does not close.
The Sudan, from the Arabic language "biled-as-sudan" or "land of the Black people" , is a geographic region stretching from Western to Eastern Africa (not to be confused with the country, Sudan). They speak the Dagbani language.
The Dagbani language is of the Gur language group in West Africa. It is spoken by
about 800,00 people in Ghana. Native speakers are primarily of the Dagomba people,
but Dagbani is also widely known as a second language in north-eastern Ghana....
language which belongs to the More-Dagbani sub-group of Gur.
The Dagbani sub-group today is broken up into three ethnic groups: The Dagbamba, the Mamprusi and the Nanumba. Even though these groups today constitute three apparently distinct ethnic groups, their people still identify with each other and the bond is strongest among the Dagbamba and Nanumba. The homeland of the Dagbamba is called Dagbon and covers about 8,000 sq. miles in area and has a total population of about 650, 000. The area constitutes seven administrative districts in the northern area of present-day Ghana.
The most cosmopolitan city of Dagbon is Tamale. Tamale is the capital of the Northern Region of Ghana, with a population of 305,000 . It is mostly populated by Dagomba people who speak Dagbani language and are followers of Islam. Municipality, Tolon/Kumbungu, Savelugu/Nantong, Yendi, Gushegu/Karaga, Zabzugu/Tatali and Saboba/Cheriponi. The overlord the Dagbon Traditional Kingdom is the Ya-Na, whose court and administrative capital is at Yendi. Yendi is reputed to be the largest village in West Africa.
The Dagbon Kingdom has traditional administrative responsibilities for hitherto acephalous groups
Acephalous Society: In anthropology, an acephalous society is a society which lacks political leaders or hierarchies. Such groups are also known as egalitarian or Non-stratified societies. Societies like the Konkomba, the Bimoba, the Chekosi, the Basaari, the Chamba, and the Zantasi. Though ethnic Dagbamba are in the majority, the people of the subject ethnic groups have equal citizenship rights in the Kingdom. The seat of the Ya Na literally translated as King of Absolute Power, is a collection of cow skins. Thus when we talk of the political history of Dagbon, we often refer to it as the Yendi Skin (not throne or crown).
Na Gbewaa is regarded as the founder of Greater Dagbon (Present day Dagbon, Mamprugu and Nanung). Lacking a written culture, Dagbamba are one of the cultural groups with a very sophisticated oral culture woven around drums and other musical instruments. Thus most of its history, until quite recently, has been based on oral tradition with drummers as professional historians. So according to oral tradition, the political history of Dagbon has its genesis in the lifestory of a legend called Tohazie (translated as Red Hunter.).
Culturally, Dagbon is heavily influenced by Islam: Islam is a Monotheism, Abrahamic religion originating with the teachings of the Prophets of Islam Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. Inheritance is patrilineal. Important festivals include the Damba, Bugum (fire festival) and the two Islamic Eid Festivals.
The Ghanaian festivals are a colourful and vibrant part of the culture. Each year festivals and durbars are held in various parts of the country, to celebrate the heritage of the people.
One of the Ghana festivals is the Homowo Festival, which occurs in either July or August. Homowo is a word that essentially means to make fun of hunger. This is a festival of thanksgiving and also a festival celebrating the harvest. Ancient oral history talks about at time many years ago when there were no rains and there was a famine throughout the plains of Accra. Finally when the rains came and the harvest and food was plentiful, everyone was so excited, thankful, and happy, that they began to hold a festival that made fun of hunger.
The Fiok Festival is one of the Ghana Festivals that shows the war culture of the Busa people who are in Ghana. Their exploits are re-enacted during the festival and there is also dancing, durbar, thanksgiving to all the gods, and drumming as well. Usually this festival is held in December.
This is a Festival that is held in the Kumasi and is a Festival that is held for the Ashanti people. It is also known as the Festival of the Asante, and the festival is to celebrate the ancestral stools of the Ashanti people being purified. This festival is held every 40 days and when it happens to fall on a Sunday, it is truly an amazing festival to see.
The Hogbetsotso Festival is a Ghana festival that is held in November on the very first Saturday in the Volta River area of the country by the Anlo Ewes people. The main feature of this exciting festival is a durbar of citizens and chiefs.
This is also known as the festival of the Exodus as well, and it is held each year to celebrate how the Anlo Ewes were able to escape from King Agokoli of Togo, who was a very tyrannical ruler. All the chiefs of the area appear in their most regal attire and sit to receive homage from the subjects that are in attendance. Through the entire festival, there is dancing and drumming to be enjoyed.
As you can see, many of the old traditions of Ghanaians are celebrated during these festivals as well as the Ghana culture. There are many other common festivals that occur as well, and every big event in life is marked by some kind of ritual or rite.
Marriage, puberty, child naming, and of course death is marked by big ceremonies and festivals. Also, the festivals that occur throughout the year also work to bring clans together in an amazing fashion.
These Ghana festivals are all important to the people of Ghana. They often bring back recollection of events in the past, celebrate lives of ancestors passed on, and also work to consecrate new seasons as well. You'll also find that festivals are when you'll see the durbars of chiefs, seeing Queen Mothers and tribal leaders parade through accompanied by drummers and dancers. The ritual and celebration is so important to the daily life of the people of Ghana, which is easily seen by the large gatherings that occur at festivals, marriages, and funerals, which is something you'll commonly see when you visit this unique country full of such amazing culture.
Page created July 15, 2009. Anne Pemberton. Updated: Sun, May 27, 2012. AP.