Ghana: Nungua Celebrates Odwira

The Nungua Mantse and President of the Nungua Traditional Council, King Odaifio Welentsi III, has called on the Gadangme people to eschew chieftaincy conflicts and rather unite for the development of their traditional area.

Using Nungua as a case study, the Nungua Mantse who doubles as the Oshwe Wulomo said the peace and tranquility in Nungua had opened doors for development and progress.

Addressing the press after the annual Odwira festival of the people of Nungua in Greater Accra last Thursday, King Welentsi III noted that unlike the rest of the Ga people, the Nungua people celebrate the Kplejoo festival instead of Homowo.

He explained that Thursday that follows the climax of the Kplejoo festival was the day to perform rituals to honour the departed chiefs, queen mothers and traditional office holders of the town.

This rite, dubbed: Nungua Odwira was performed at the Royal Mausoleum this year with a traditional dish, kpokpoi which was prepared and carried by some 'seven virgins' of the town.

The chiefs and people, clad in all red traditional attire, followed in a procession through the principal streets of Nungua to the Royal Mausoleum with the firing of musketry, amid dancing and chanting of Asafo songs.

At the cemetery, the chief priest dished the kpokpoi, the traditional meal for the Nungua Mantse during which King Welentsi III sprinkled it on all the tombs of the departed royals.

The return from the Royal Mausoleum was rather full of fun, pump and pageantry. The Nungua Mantse was paraded in a palanquin through the entire township.

As the procession went on, the Nungua Mantse was cheered on and praised for his efforts at bringing lasting peace to his people.

At notable places, water and drink offerings were made by elders of the various clans for a peaceful procession.

At Ablokor Jaranor (The Town Square), the Wulomei, led by the Owufu Wulomo, prayed on behalf of the Gborbu Wulomo for a peaceful procession with the funfair ending at the chief's Palace.

In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, the Nungua Mantse said Odwira was not new to the Nungua people, adding that the people were part of the larger Guan group that migrated from Israel and separated into various smaller units and that the Odwira festival, which was also celebrated by the Akwapem, Akwamu and Akyem people, had been with the Nungua people since the creation of the town.

He mentioned such other Ga towns as Ngleshie Alata in Ga Mashie and Osu that also celebrate Odwira.

According to Nii Nungua, such names of the Nungua people as Odai and Otu were equally found among the afore-mentioned towns that celebrate Odwira.

He said "people who do not understand why the people of Nungua celebrate Odwira should know that this is not a new thing."

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