Akonedi Shrine celebrates Yam Festival at Larteh

by Amandla Reporter, Larteh

In most West African societies, yearly celebrations are themed around bountiful harvest and the society’s ability to stem the scourge of hunger and famine. And most often the festivals are celebrated around harvest seasons or times in the year of plenty. The Ga people of Coastal Ghana for example, have the Homowo, which essentially is aimed at driving out famine from the Ga state and the nation in general and is celebrated during the times of bountiful catch. In other places the annual festivals coincide with the harvesting of yam and therefore assume the name of yam festival among some Akan states. The Akyems, for instance have the Ohum that is essentially a yam festival. The generality of annual festivals, therefore, celebrate the bounty afforded by earth as they pay homage and give thanks to God and the gods. On Tuesday, October 4, the Akonedi Shrine at Larteh Akwapim in the Eastern Region of Ghana celebrated its annual festival at Larteh, Akwapim. This year’s celebration started on Thursday, September 29. The ceremonies comprise a number of rituals. For the people of Larteh the Yam Festival also serves as the Annual celebration of the Akonedi Shrine itself. The peak and highlight of the one week celebration is a Tuesday, the birthday of the principal deity in the pantheon, Nanapanin Abena Akonedi. The celebrations begin at dawn during which the chief diviner is possessed first by Nana Panin, followed by all the other deities that include Asuo Gyebi, Adade Kofi, and Nana Esi. Activities during the season include sacrifices to the various gods of the Akonedi shrine the most senior of them being Nana Abena Akonedi herself. She leads the procession to the durbar grounds. Each deity has its cardinal purpose and goal. For example, Asuo Gyebi is the god of bounty and fertility among others. Other gods represent other attributes. Other events during the week included prayer and supplication for fertility, bountiful yield, general care and welfare for the Larteh community and Ghana in general. On Tuesday October 4, the chief diviner and priestess of the Akonedi shrine sat in state and received homage from her subordinate priests and priestesses from around the country. Some arrived from nearby Odumasi Krobo in the Eastern Region, Ashanti Region, and other parts of the country, and from as far as Europe and the United States where a branch of the shrine has long been established. Acolytes or priests and priestesses in training also attended the ceremonies and paid homage. The theme for the celebrations this year was a Call for Unity.

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Posted by on Oct 14 2016. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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