Oils, diamonds, gold and chocolates – Ghana seems to have it all!
1. The name Ghana actuall. y means “warrior king”.
2. After multiple colonial invasions and other regional conflicts, the country of Ghana gained power through its trade in gold. In fact, it was one of the first nations to make contact with European territories. They traded with the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Even today, it is the 7th largest producer of gold worldwide.
3. Even under the British colonisation in the 20th century it came to be named as the “Gold Coast”. Further, it traded cocoa and coffee bringing about even the establishment of schools.
4. In 1957 it became the first self-governing sub-Saharan African nation.
5. The country’s local languages were never reduced to writing and came to be preserved only through oral traditions. But the Akan people are believed to have depicted things through symbolism called Adinkra. The symbolism is complex and even indicates proverbs and theories.
6. The country’s Ashanti Empire witnessed a form of pantheism called Akom. A number of the Akom traditions remain alive even today, even getting mixed with Christian practices. They recognize a creator god named Nyame whose abode is in the sky and whose wife is Asase Yaa, i.e., the Earth.
7. In addition, there is a belief that the wishes of these gods are carried out by spirits. A prominently narrated story is of the swindling spider, Anansi. Anansi made it to Neil Gaiman’s book “American Gods” which even became a series! Now all we need is for Peter Parker aka Spider-Man and Anansi to meet up. ?
8. Folklore even tells a tale wherein Anansi taught two boys who were out and about exploring the jungle, the art of weaving fabric from cotton and silk.
9. Amongst the Akan people who resided in southern Ghana, the titles and riches would be passed down via the matrilineal line. So, a prince and princess would both receive their queen mother’s wealth and would both hold titles. But the male would end up sitting on the throne, however, the next to sit on the throne would not be the king’s son but the king’s sister’s son, thus, indicating a preference towards the progression of the matrilineal line even with males in power.
10. Meanwhile, the country’s oldest inhabitants are actually the Guan people who migrated to Ghana as early as 1000 AD!
11. The coffins indicate excellent wood carvings and workmanship. And as the people believe that life continues even after death, the coffins are elaborately done so to represent the deceased’s vocation. Thus, coffins such as a huge fish or aeroplane might just be spotted! Now that’s called going out with a bang.
12. Religious fairness and tolerance are intrinsically said to be taught in Ghana. Go, Ghana!
13. They can converse in over 40 language and approximately 70 dialects!
14. With a rich culture like Ghana’s, the country of course has a range of festivals that they celebrate. For example, Homowo is celebrated to pray for rains, while Bakatue marks the commencement of the fishing season in July.
15. As earnings still remain tight here, traditional healing is still popularly resorted to with 45,000 traditional healers.
1. Try your hand at surfing! Wait, try your foot at surfing? I mean, you know, go attempt the thrill of surfing at Kokrobite beach in Accra.
2. Cape Coast Castle presents a chance to explore the history of this country. Once a castle, it eventually went to unfortunately get used for slavery. You can even see the dungeons here.
3. Wildlife and nature lovers will both enjoy their visits to Kakum National Park as they get a glimpse of both in the rainforest with its canopy walks and plush greenery.
4. For the mountain child, heading to the eastern region will bring joy. Mount Afadjato and Wli Waterfalls have trails and pretty scenery for you to take in.
5. If you plan on visiting, I’d suggest plan your trip around one of the major festivals in the country, which gives you a chance of seeing their folk dances and music, tribal activities and the culture as such in full swing!
How to Reach:
Fly from India to Accra with layovers in Dubai, Addis Ababa, Cairo or Istanbul.