August 16, 2010

Ada's festival Chief's Parade. (Ghana 2010)

The main part of Asafoatse Festival is the Chief's Parade. Almost every main Ghanaian tribe had its representation on this festival. The chief is carried on a platform, which sometimes is just a simple one with some kind of roof or umbrella on it, but sometimes can have most fantastic shapes of animals, chariots, or whatever is there in its creator mind. Before the platform with a chief on it there's a representation of the chief's court, who carries all the tribal symbols. After them are warriors and musicians, all of them making a lot of noise. Warriors are shooting, musicians are playing on different instruments. After them the rest of the tribes's members are following, singing and dancing, obviously wearing traditional clothing.
Chiefs are sitting or standing on the platforms, greeting the observers, pouring water over them or throwing rice. And of course they are wearing traditional clothing, and carrying the attributes of their power.
Platforms can get most amazing shapes you could ever imagine:
The chiefs are followed by the female brass bands, playing all of the "parade" kinds of music you can imagine, dressed up in traditional clothes as well.
If there's music, there has to be lots of dancing as well!

And in Ghana everybody dances, even mommas with their kids on their backs!
Chiefs have also their armed guards following them. To all the noisesaround you can add some shooting as well. The weapons are kind of antient...
Of course all people on the parade are getting hungry or thirsty, so there are traders selling snacks all over the place.
But food and drinks are not the only things carried by women on their heads. There are also some other things, I guess absolutely necessary for the event:
 Some of these things are pretty much... surprising:
Ghanaians love their festivals and actually they love partying in general. Festivals are the reflection of their traibal past, which they are proud of. To be in Ghana and not see one of them... not acceptable! ;)

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