The word Homowo (Homo – hunger, wo – hoot) can mean “to hoot (or jeer) at hunger” in the Ga language. The tradition of Homowo started with a period of hunger leading to famine due to failure of the seasonal rains needed by crops in the Greater Accra Region, where the Ga people predominantly dwell. When the rains returned to normal, the Ga people celebrated by creating the Homowo festival, hence its name and meaning.
Homowo is greatly celebrated in all the towns in the Ga state with celebrations climaxing in Gamashie. The celebration begins with the planting of maize, which will be used in preparing the food for the festival named Kpokpoi or Kpekple. During this period, noise making is prohibited or banned since it is believed that it disturbs the gods. The meal is eaten with Palm Nut Soup and it is also sprinkled within the town. This is normally done by traditional leaders and family heads. Celebration includes marching down roads and streets beating drums, chanting, face painting, singing and traditional dances. Even though the celebration of Homowo is a Ga tradition, many other ethnic groups are welcomed to also join in the celebration. The homowo festival of the Ga tribe is believed to have a lineage from the Jewish tribe and its ancestral tradition of the Jewish Passover feast.
Some of the towns that celebrate Homowo are La, Teshie, Nungua, Osu, Ga-Mashie, Tema among others.
DATE SCHEDULED FOR 2021 GA HƆMƆWƆ (HOMOWO) FESTIVITIES
SHI BAA –
All the Clans “We” perform “Shibaa” rite for the cleaning and clearing of the sacred farm of the Dantu Deity for the planting millet. It is performed in the order as listed below.
1. Dantu We – Monday 3rd May, 2021
2. Sakumɔ We – Tuesday 4th May, 2021
3. Korle We / Gbese – Friday 7th May, 2021
4. Gua We – Saturday 8th May, 2021
5. Nai Ede We – Sunday 9th May, 2021
6. Nai We – Tuesday 11th May, 2021
ŊMAA DUMƆ – (Planting the sacred millet at their sacred farm)
1. Dantu We – Monday 10th May, 2021
2. Sakumɔ We – Tuesday 11th May, 2021
3. Korle We / Gbese – Friday 14th May, 2021
4. Gua We – Saturday 15th May, 2021
5. Naide We – Sunday 16th May, 2021
6. Nai We – Tuesday 18th May, 2021
ŊMAA FAA – (Harvesting the sacred millet at the sacred farm)
1. Dantu We – Monday 31st May, 2021
2. Sakumɔ We – Tuesday 1st June, 2021
3. Korle We / Gbese – Friday 4th June, 2021
4. Gua We – Saturday 5th June, 2021
5. Nai Ede We – Sunday 6th June, 2021
6. Nai We – Tuesday 8th June, 2021
Thursday 10th June, 2021 – ODADAO – Ban on Drumming And Noise Making lifted
Saturday 19th June, 2021 – Nungua Nishwãmɔ
YƐLƐ KƐ ŊMÃA YELI
1. Blafo Yam feasting – Tuesday 29th June, 2021
2. Dadeban Yam feasting – Saturday 6th July, 2021
3. Kotope Yam feasting – Tuesday 13th July, 2021
4. Dade/Atuadzan/Jaflo Otu Yam feasting – Tuesday 20th July, 2021
5. Nai Nshɔbulemɔ (Special rites for the purification of the sea by Nai We) – Tuesday 27th July, 2021
6. Lante Dzan We Kɔgbamɔ – Saturday 31st July, 2021
7. Hãadzi (twins) Hɛlɛ yeli – Friday 13th August, 2021
8. Ga Mashi Afi – Saturday 14th August, 2021
9. Ŋɔɔ Wala – Sunday 15th August, 2021
10. Ngleshi Odwira Tswaa (Ngleshi performs Odwira) – Monday 16th August, 2021
Thursday 17th August – Osu Celebrations
Thursday 17th August – La Celebrations
Thursday 17th August – Tɛshi Celebrations
Thursday 17th August – Nungua Kpeledzoo Celebrations
Thursday 17th August – Tema Celebrations
Thursday 17th August – Kpone Celebrations
Tuesday 19h October – Sakumɔ Ŋmaa too and Ashiaklɛ Ŋmaayeli Celebrations (Sakumɔ stores the sacred millet for future use. Ashiaklɛ rites also takes place. Ashiaklɛ rites takes place every third year of Sakumɔ Ŋmaa too)
Tuesday 21st December – Nai Omɛɛ Gbijurɔ Celebrations
Friday 14th December – Blonya Gbi Celebrations
Shitsɛ Nuumo Lakote Aduawushi (Nai Wulɔmɔ)
About the GA’s
The Ga land from its origins has been divided into three principal divisions namely,
1. Ga Mashi (Accra)
2 Dangme (to the east and north), and
3 Obutu or Awutu to the (east).
The Ga Traditional Council comprise of the following:
1 Ga Mantse (Head)
9 Ngleshie Alata
15 Nai Wulomo
16 Sakumo Wulomo
17 Korle Wulomo
OSU: The clans of Osu are:
1 Osu Alata
2 Osu Ashanti
The first settlers of Teshie migrated from Teshie in Togo by Nuumo Trebi, and followed by Nuumo Nmati and his followers from La; followed by Nuumo Martey and his followers from Prampram; followed by some strangers from Fanti land (mainly fishermen), and other strangers from Ga Mashi in central Accra.
The clans of Teshie are as follows:
1. Numo Trebi we; 2.Numo Nmati we; 3.Numo Martey we; Krobo; 4 Krobo; 5.Kle Musum; 6. Agbawe; 7.Bajoku; and 8. Akoble and others
LA: Akutsei or Clans of La are as follows:
1) Abese; 2) Kwei (Koi); 3) Abafun; 4) Nmati; 5) Lenshi; 6)Klan Naa; 7) Saishi/Anecho and others
NUNGUA: Has two main faction, the Amanfa and Sanshi. From these two factions are formed eight clans of Nungua. The eight clans of Nungua are as follows:
1) Nii Mantse We; 2) Nii Moi We; 3) Nii Borte We; 4) Nii Adzin We;
5) Nii Borkwei We; 6) Nii Osokrono We; 7)Nii Odarteitse We; Nii Djenge We.
KPONE/TEMA MUNICIPALITY: comprises of the following clan:
1) Bediako We; 2) Kojo We; 3) Sanshi We.
ADA: Ada traditional format is like the other GaDangme subnations format. The are clans, clan houses, clan names coupled with divinities for each clan house and each clan. The two main divisions of ADA are Big Ada and Ada Foah. Ada clans are as follows: 1) Adibia We; 2) Lomobia We; 3) Tekperbia We; 4) Dangmebia We; 5) Ohuewen; 6) Korgbo; 7 Kudragbe; Kabiawetsu; 9) Kabiawemu; 10) Kpono.
DANGME TRADITIONAL AREAS: These include Ningo, Kpone, Osudoku, Prampram (Gbugbla), Agotime and Dodowa.
NINGO: The clans of Ningo traditional areas are as follows:
1) Lowerkpono; 2) Salosisi; 3) Tawiah Kwetey; 4) Adela; 5) Odoi;
6) Odoi; 7) Old Ningo; Labiawer clan and Lowerkpon.
PRAMPRAM: The clans of Prampram are as follows:
1) Dawhenya(Kle Chawenya); 2)Afienya (Kle); 3) Miotso (Lakpler); 4) Mobole (Kle); 5)Mataheko (Akuble); 6) Ablekuma (Lakpler); Obetseklu (Klu)
KROBO: The traditonal areas of Krobo comprise of Numo Awuley Kwao; Kwaku Darpoh; Tetteh Djan; and Miotso. Krobo has two main divisions, namely Yilo Krobo and Manya Krobo. Krobo clans are as follows: 1) Dawhenya; 2) Afienya (Kle); 3) Miotso; 4) Mobole (Kle); 5) Mataheko (Akuble); 6)Ablekuma(Kakple) and 7)Obtseklu.
AWUTU/Obutu. Awutu comprises of Awutu Breku and Awutu Effutu. The clans of Awutu are:
1)Rumanian; 2) Dwomona; 3) Nzakara; 4) Kirundi; 5)Avikam; 6) Kissandaui; 7) Awutua; Twidan; 9)Bimoba and 10) Mo clan.
1. Homowo Festival
2. Awutu Awubia Festivals
3 Krobo Festivals are: Kloyosikplemi; Ngmayem; Lapomi and
4. Ada celebrate Asafotufiam; Ngmayem
5. Nungua celebrates KLEDZO Festival.
FEMALE INITIATION: Dipo
Otufo in Ga traditional areas.
Dipo in Dangme traditional areas
Both Otufo and Dipo are the same customs and they mark the passage of girls into womanhood by performing a series of rites.