An important period in the Ga calendar is the Homowo Festival which takes place in August. Homowo literally means hooting at hunger (Homo – hunger, wo – hoot), and is celebrated within the Ga states in Greater Accra in the remembrance of the famine. Its not just about festival activities of dancing, drumming and eating Kpokpoi/Kpekple. But many rituals are performed before, during and after the Homowo period May – August. Commencing with the sewing of crops, and one month noise ban.
This year my friend Nii Obido a typical Osu man organised a Homowo Osu tour, so I offered my support. The tour was not just to dance, chant an enjoy food but to learn about history, culture and traditional practices.
The Wulomo is also known as a fetish/high priest is a spiritual leader that performs all traditional rites and customs for the people of Osu and the protection of Osu land (Shitse). A Wulomo is chosen through prayers and several divine rites performed by the elders. The deity chooses the rightful person to become Wulomo who is then the spiritual father and leader to all the traditional priestly fraternity of Priests and Priestesses of Osu.
As part of the initiation, the Wulomo is taken to his ancestral home and shrine at Osuwem the high priest and shrine of all Nadu and Ga-Dangmens for purification rites to be performed before becoming a Wulomo. Sacred rituals are performed at the Gborbu Wulomo Shrine for cleansing and initiated as the Klottey Wulomo in the Gborbu Grove, where the Klottey deity resides.
Before entering the house to see the Wulomo, everyone has to purify.
The Wulomo wears white clothes representing purity, the head is covered as a sign of protection and walks bear foot for the body to be grounded and with nature.
During the Homowo period prayers are cited and Libation is poured to honour the Gods, ancestors and blessings for the future of abundance of crops and livestock, peace and harmony amongst the community. The Wulomo followed by traditional leaders and the community would sprinkle kpekple at the doorsteps of houses in honour to feed the Ancestors especially those who lost their life due to the famine.
During the tour we visited many ‘houses’ and I had the privilege of meeting a priestess who had blessed the food I was served.
A priestess is referred to as a Woyo and acts as mediums for the gods delivering messages. Messages and actions received from the priestess is presented by the Wulomo. Each god has at least one Woyo. One major role is the installation and outdooring of the chief who puts the ‘komi’ around the neck of the person to be installed. They also perform divination and purity rites.
Having attended many Homowo festivals, it was great to share some information to the group, instead of just parading, dancing in the street and eating lots of Kpekple and palm soup. Even though that is great too.
bless Sister E (Naa Dzamah)