Saturday, February 20, 2016

To Togo We Will Go

 Heroes and Heroines Day

        During the Kente Festival, Friday is the day when the Heroes and Heroines are commemorated. The citizens are clad in red, black, or brown attire or war dresses. They converge at a designated place to remember ancestors who have died or survived in war, or have demonstrated great heroism during their lifetimes.

        This year we went into Togo for these celebrations. The Companies and Chiefs and villagers have gathered in the village square beating drums and singing dirges to mourn the dead. There is also the chanting of war songs and the firing of muskets. This symbolizes the victory over death or the perceived enemy. The muskets are eventually assembled for purification. Senior War Lords and Chiefs dip nugbe leaves into the purifying water and sprinkle the assembled guns. 

Chiefs and their entourages beginning to arrive.

Many of the queens assemble early.

Young dancers leading in one of the chiefs.

Royalty always arrives with an umbrella.

An African Mime. You are to put money in the pot on his head. 

Kings now assembled.

A goat is sacrificed.

Carried away.

The women's dance.

Carrying in the precious Nugbe leaves.

No lack off powder smoke from the firing of muskets.

They say that no muskets has ever been misplaced.


        Former Director of Temporal Affairs, Philippe Kradolfer, was made an honorary chief this day. They do not sit on a throne but a stool so someone is "instooled". His wife was also inducted as his queen.

After the ceremony many came to give their congratulations.

Notice her scepter and striking face.

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