I was born on a Sunday, so as part of the Ga tradition every year choosing a Sunday nearest my birthdate 19th June it is customary for me to celebrate with eating Oto(eto/ɛto)
Oto is a sacred dish that consists of the preparation of boiled yam mashed and some with added palm oil. Included hard boiled eggs. (It is also made with plantain)
Chili Pepper (optional)
chop yam, boil with salt
mash cooked yam
fry chopped onions in palm oil
Add oil to 2/3rds of mashed yam and continue to mash
put white yam aside.
blend finely pepper with onions and add to mashed yam
Offerings and Prayers
We all cooked under the watchful eye of the elder. Offerings were made to the Ancestors first, sprinkling around the compound. The person that you choose to hold the water follows after you, then friends and community. Prayers were said over the food before embarking on a feast.
Oto is also eaten at special occasions: for a bride’s breakfast, ancestor offerings, naming ceremony, post birth purification, puberty rites ceremony, twin festivals, harvest.
Eggs are often used during sacrifices, purification rites and other ceremonies. With their oval shape as a symbol of feminine beauty. Staff egg carvings – symbol of peace. An egg is fragile and will be broken without patients, carefulness, prudence of what king should also entail for peace. As part of the Ghana Cultural Experience with visit Cape Coast Dungeons and in the cells is a shrine where we make offerings to the Ancestors.
(Cape Coast Dungeons)
(Ghana Cultural Experience)
I have had so many family gatherings with Otu in the UK as it is a tradition in the family household for all members to carry out. But it was a lovely day enjoying with the locals of Ntonso in Kumasi, Ghana.
Have you ever ate Oto(eto/ɛto) and if so what was the occasion?
bless Sister E (Naa Dzamah)