Sunday, February 28, 2016

Islam in the North of Ghana

Larabanga Mosque

        The Mosque at Larabanga is perhaps the oldest building in Ghana but nobody agrees on how old it is, or even who built it. Locals use the year 1421 and accredit the construction to the Islamic trader who was called Ayuba. In Accra at the National Museum the Larabanga display credits Imam Bramah with building the mosque over the period of 1643-1675. 
         Larabanga is the most holy of the mud and thatch mosques in Ghana. Over the centuries it has served as a surrogate Mecca for Ghanaian Muslims but it is difficult to verify. It is very old and very interesting and we happened to be there on a day when there was a sacrifice taking place. We were not really welcomed it appeared but that is the beauty of not understanding the language.

This tree is reported to have been there since the mosque was built.

The village around the mosque.

This woman is the oldest in the village. I have never seen another person with snow white hair.

Inside a home.

Storage jars and cooking stove.

Birthing bowl.

Hard to see.

Trying to get a better view.

Best show in town. Where are your little ones?

Carrying off ones portion.

The prized hooves.

Unbelievable Color

The Grand Durbar

        The Grand Durbar is the climax of the annual Kente Festival. On this day traditional leaders, rulers, and people from all of the 37 towns and villages of the Agotime Traditional Area converge at Kpetoe, the paramount seat. There is a long procession to the ceremonial Durbar grounds. Chiefs and Queen Mothers are dressed in their best traditional outfits and rich Kente. War Lords ride into the grounds in their palanquins like they did on the Hero and Heroines Day with their entourages following. As many as 1500 different varieties of Kente cloth can be identified during these ceremonies of dancing, singing, drumming and speeches.

The Official Kente Weaver being carried in.

The hands and the feet are in such rhythm.