Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

Archive for the ‘Dance’ Category

Shake shake shake, shake your bootie….

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Feet stamping with jingles added to the lively beat of the drummers

One of the truly fabulous experiences in Ghana is undoubtedly witnessing a cultural demonstration of dancing and drumming.  We had this opportunity recently in a village that forms part of peri-urban Tamale.  The drummers were drumming, the booties were shaking, and the feet were stamping.  It was great!

Things took a decided turn for the worse when the demonstration finished, and the “visitors” were expected to have a go themselves!   In order to look the part, we were assisted into the belt like apparatus with pom poms.  These must shake when your bootie does, for maximum effect.  Antia and I had a go, and it was good fun. But we certainly paled in comparison when it was Mark’s turn.  He was a natural!  Not much bootie to shake, but he gave it a stellar effort;  much to the riotous amusement of the women and children assembled.  No doubt they are still chuckling when they think about it!   Certainly I do!   : )

Mark was the cause of much merriment amongst the local women!

It is much tougher than it looks!  It is very exhausting, and we were doubly impressed by the dancer below, who has started young, but no doubt he has a long and exciting career ahead of himself as a traditional Dagomba dancer.

Starting young, this small fry was strutting his stuff - fantastic!


Written by Mar(k)

September 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm

The Importance of the Chieftancy

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dignitaries wait for the arrival of the Vice President at the TENI launch

One of the things that is immediately apparent here is how important the chieftancy structure is to Ghanaian life.  The respect that is accorded to the chief and his sub-chiefs is immense.  When one goes to “communities”, it is customary, respectful and necessary to greet the chief before any business gets done.  One of the ways of showing respect to the chief, at least here in the Northern Region, is to bow slightly, as you can see from this drummer who is kneeling as he drums to show respect.

The drummer at the front is paying his respect to the chief by kneeling or crouching down

At a recent opening of an educational project that VSO is involved in, the Vice President of  Ghana officially launched the TENI project (Tackling Education Needs Inclusively).

the Vice President of Ghana opened the TENI project

It was a great demonstration of the blend of political power through the VP and the traditional respect of the chieftans.

Traditional  Ghanaian dancers were called upon to dance and entertain the masses as we waited for the Vice President to arrive.  In addition, the loud speakers broadcast the “praise singers”,

Praise singers - their job is to literally sing the praises of the chief

who sing the praises of the head chief.  It was very loud, and went on for a long time!   But the respect afforded the chief was also very apparent.

at important events everyone puts on their best outfits -all the men looked great in their smocks

Written by Mar(k)

July 6, 2010 at 10:14 am