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Yoosedofiami: Unique Krobo dance to honour deceased in-laws

Entertainment Dance Funeral
Entertainment Dance Funeral

Funerals are always a solemn moment for families, friends, and mourners to say their final farewell to a departed soul, as death is seen as a transitional period for every human being to the spirit world.

Most ethnic groupings in Ghana put a lot of effort into the preparation for the funeral event.

The loss of a family member comes with additional expenditure, which often covers coffin, undertakers, mortuary fees depending on how long the mortal remain was kept in the morgue, canopies, chairs, accessories, and dress for the deceased, preparation of the grave, acquisition of death certificate, and the list of merchandize goes on and on.

Food, drinks, music, and a matching funeral cloth has now become a must with some even customizing the cloths and drinks, as well as sharing souvenirs with a picture of the dead to sympathizers who often made a donation at the ‘funeral table’ to contribute their widows’ mite to wipe the tears off the faces of the bereaved family.

Funeral Rites

Funeral rites are said to be the traditional ceremonies performed in connection with the burial of a departed family member, these rites commence right from the day person passed on.

It includes bathing the corpse, dressing it, and the actual burial, and beyond. Such funeral rites differ from one ethnic group to the other.

The Krobo people are made up of the Manya and Yilo divisions, geographically located in the Eastern Region but are recognized under the Ga-Dangme ethnolinguistic group of Ghana.

Just like other ethnic groups in Ghana, the Krobos’ have their own funeral rites, this includes the “yoosedofiemi” literally meaning the drumming and dancing of the daughter.

Yoosedofiemi

Otsaame Akuerter, a linguist for one of the clan houses at Manya Kporgunor Ojadornyaa on Krobo land, gave a smile and reminisced the joy of performing the ‘yoosedofiemi’ funeral rite explaining that the drumming and dancing are to honour the memory of the departed by their son-in-law in appreciation for giving birth to a beautiful daughter and nurturing her to discharge her wife duties to the man and his entire family perfectly.

Even though the rite is known to be performed by the sons-in-law, the emphasis is on the ‘Dede’ the first girls of the departed father or mother-in-law, the Dede must not necessarily be a biological daughter but those they might have inherited as daughters following the death of their siblings.

The yoosedofiami which is also known as the “kuusumi doo” to wit customary dance could be performed on a Saturday that the burial took place but most families often perform it on a Sunday after the burial especially in the late afternoon.

Types of Yoosedofiami

There are two types of this customary dance, these are the ‘sikado’ and ‘miedo’ while respectively sika doo “money dance” is performed without the sounding of a drum, the miedo “drum dance” is done accompanied by the beating of drums.

In the past, according to Madam Mercy Tetteh, an octogenarian, they used traditional drums such as the talking drums for the dance, but now it has been modernized and people are therefore allowed to hire the services of brass band players to play for them to perform the dance.

Unlike the sikado which is said to be expensive as the in-law pays more money to the woman’s family, and does not necessarily partake in the dance as it’s only the woman who does the dance, the miedo on the other hand, see the man accompanied by friends and families take to the dance floor, after which the wife also take their turn to show their dancing skills.

The dancing process

As mourners and visitors troop into the family house and settle down, the elders take their seat for the dance, at the appointed time the son-in-law together with his family being led by a linguist or elderly person comes and present a bottle of gin or schnapps to the wife’s family to ask permission to dance.

When the permission is granted, the man who is dressed in Kente cloth, with matching headgear, and authentic Krobo beads is ushered in to take his seat. Afterwards, his wife also dressed in similar regalia to that of her husband also entered the courtyard.

The wife however is ushered in with a woman carrying a hamper of assorted drinks (the carrier must be someone who has been married with all needed marriage rites performed) accompanied by clapping and singing of folklore (in the case of sikado) some of the words of the folklore are “okumadjan ooo omaa tukadjan” which means the woman is as beautiful and smart as the antelope and therefore can jump skillfully just like it.

During the dance, the woman would customary sit-down temporary on the mourners one after the other in appreciation for their support, the mourners on the other hand were expected to give them some voluntary monies before they get up. Permission is sought again with a bottle of gin, beer, or schnapps from the elders before the dancing team is discharged.

The same process and dressing also apply to the miedo with the only difference being the provision of drum music and the man being the first to go through the dancing process, after which the woman also shows her dancing skills.

Conclusion

Culture is the way of life of a group of people, this covers their beliefs, dressing, food, rites and among other things, as Ghanaians, we all belong to one ethnic group or the other we must as a people promote our traditions and culture especially the ones that do not cause harm to any person just like the yoosedofiami of the Krobos.

It is a beautiful rite to behold especially when listening to the words of the traditional songs and observing the traditional adornment and accessories, the dancing skills will surely put a smile on your face after all the sorrows that surround the seeing off of a departed soul.

Always spare time to join in the dance especially when the music for the yoosedofiami is coming from a brass band, it is so refreshing to the soul of the living.

Source: GNA

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Culture/Tourism

‘We don’t accept this type of dance here’ – Paramount Chief fumes at dancers who portrayed twerking as ‘borborbor’

Togbe Tepreh Hodo IV

Paramount Chief of Anfoega Traditional Area, Togbe Tepreh Hodo IV, has in an unceremonious way stopped a group of dancers from portraying the ‘borborbor’ dance in an indecent manner.

As a tradition of the Ewes in the middle belt of the Volta Region, the dance is a very prominent feature at every public gathering.

Having been performed since time immemorial, it is not only delightful to its people, it is seen as a tradition that has been passed on from one generation to the other.

Thus, when a group of dancers in an attempt to ‘spice up their show’ introduced sexually suggestive dance moves also known as ‘twerking’, the natives and their traditional leader could not watch on, unconcerned.

So at that very durbar of Chiefs during the Easter celebrations at Anfoega Akukome on Saturday, April 16, the Paramount Chief called off the group’s performance.

According to reports by The Spectator, activities lined up for the day were going smoothly until a borborbor group from one of the towns was called upon to entertain the gathering.

“The group brought on their best performance, moving to rhythm and good tunes before the Master of Ceremony (MC) signalled them to call it off, apparently due to their seductive dance move and somewhat indecent outfit,” the newspaper reported.

The dancers, however, defied the orders and continued the performance which prompted the Paramount Chief himself to step in and show them the exit.

“There is something called protocol but I will break it,” Togbe Tepreh Hodo IV said when he grabbed the microphone from the MC.

“We don’t accept this type of dance here. Don’t come and perform this kind of dance in our midst ever again,” he fumed in the local dialect.

Natives at the event lauded the order of the Paramount Chief.

They also expressed reservations on how some young people have sought to change the face of ‘borborbor’ with ‘inappropriate’ dancing styles.

Source: Myjoyonline

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Culture/Tourism

Ga Traditional Council set to fast, pray for unity, peace for Ghana

The Ga Traditional Council (GTC) has revealed that it has rolled out series of policies towards its celebration of its annual Homowo festival which there would be fasting and praying to fast-track peace, unity and tranquility for the country.

This would occur during the period of its custom of ban on drumming and noise-making in the traditional area which has been officially set to commence from May 9 to June 9, 2022.

The Paramount Chief of the Ga Traditional Area, His Royal Majesty King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II has therefore called for peace and tolerance during, before and after the celebration.

Addressing the press in Accra, he reiterated the need for institutions within the Ga state, to celebrate this year’s Homowo festival in peace and harmony, devoid of violence.

The one-month-long ban according to the Paramount Chief is a custom that precedes the celebration of the Homowo festival of the chiefs and people of Ga Mashie.

The Ga Mantse urged the youth with emphasis to remain calm and disassociate themselves from any form of violence during the celebrations.

He called on the chiefs and elders of the area and its environs to ensure that the ban is enforced in their respective areas in collaboration with the local district assemblies.

He said a monitoring team had been put in place with special identity cards to ensure compliance with the ban with the support of the police, Asafoatsemei, and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Special Taskforce.

“They will visit flashpoints and arrest recalcitrant churches, noise makers, and those who will impersonate or imposters,” he said.

He noted that the GTC had reached an understanding with the orthodox churches and they had expressed their cooperation during the ban.

He admonished the the general public to take notice and observe the rules and regulations regarding the ban on drumming and noise making, and help to maintain the peace, harmony, and security within the Ga State.

“The GTC shall further count on the cooperation of the various stakeholders in ensuring strict observation and compliance with the Ga customs, practices, and usages,” he stressed.

Other  guidelines by the Ga State include;

  1. All worship centers should confine their activities to within their church premises.
  2. Noise making including clapping of hands, the use of tambourine, and other musical instruments should be avoided during this period.
  3. The positioning of loudspeakers outside church premises and mosques is banned during this period.
  4. Roadside evangelism and the use of megaphones and other loudspeakers should be totally avoided during this period.
  5. Funeral rites and their related activities are also banned within this period.

The Overload entreated all persons within the Ga State to comply with the ban, and refrain from making derogatory remarks about the rites, customs, practices, usages, and beliefs of the Ga people. 

This is who we are and we value our tradition and culture,” the emphasized.

By Philip Teye Agbove

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Africa

Zambian pastor baths female Church members; says direction from Holy Spirit

New Year Cross Overnight: Pastor Bath Female Members in Church, says Holy Spirit Directed him to do so

A Video of some young ladies been bathed at a Cross over service by a pastor in Church, on 31st night here has surfaced online and taken over the Internet.

According to the Pastor, bathing Church members n@k3d will cleanse them and make them Pure & Holy.

They had to remove their underwear before getting into the bath…

Is this also Divine and acceptable?

Source: Zambian Observer

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