Ghana History and Culture

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By Desmond Dorvlo
Published on , viewed 124 times
Category: Culture and People
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Ghana

Dubbed the most peaceful land in West Africa, Ghana is a beautiful country found ashore the beaches of the West African coast. Known for its relatively clean and peaceful nature, Ghana is among our top must-visit countries in Africa. Anyone who has been to Ghana can assure you of a good time. Not only because of its peaceful nature. Ghana is hygienic, the people of Ghana are highly sociable and welcoming, Ghana has people of over fifteen (15) different ethnic groups and it is the home of the world-renowned and one of the most feared African football teams- the Ghana Black Stars.

With a landmass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), it is bordered by Togo, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast, with Accra as its capital. The main religions practiced here are Christianity, Islam, and African traditional religions. It has a diverse species of animals and a wide variety of rare plants, one of the major cities in Ghana, Kumasi is even known as the Garden city of Africa. It has a population of 30 million people and they practice the unitary democratic system of governance, where the President is the Head of State, and head of government. The vegetation and ecology range from green savannahs to tropical forests. Despite all these vast differences, Ghana rarely has any unrests, making it one of our must-visit countries on our list.

History and Background

Gold Coast was the name of present-day Ghana till 4th march,1957. The name Ghana in Sonnike language means “warrior king”. The people of Ghana are known for their bravery and resilience. The country Ghana dates to the ninth century as one of the great kingdoms in the Bilad el Sudan empire. The present-day people of Ghana are the children of people who migrated from different countries to settle. Most migrations to Ghana were for escaping wars and cruel leaders, to find land for farming, and to run away from natural disasters. The first group to settle in Ghana were the Mole-Dagbani’s.

Freedom from colonization

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to set foot in Ghana. They engaged in trade with the local people. Later other countries came and after several wars, the British were the only Europeans left and Ghana became a British colony. On the 6th of March 1957 Ghana became the first country to gain independence in West Africa, through Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Now Ghana has a constitution and practices the rule of democracy.

Ghana culture

Like most African countries, Ghana can boast of an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage, festivals such as Hogbetsotso, Homowo, and Fetu Afakye are celebrated here. The traditional wear in Ghana is Kente, also, the famous designs such as the Dashiki come from Ghana.

Ghanaians pass through all the three rites of passage: the naming ceremony where a newborn child is named, the puberty ceremony that ushers the child into adulthood, the wedding ceremony, and the final rite of passage the death ceremony, that is used to usher the spirit of a dead person into the spirit world. Although these rites vary among the ethnic groups, they are all similar. Ceremonies and festivals are unimaginable without their traditional dances, like Agbadza and Adowa, and drumming.

Ghana Today

Ghana has grown since its independence to become a very developed country in terms of agriculture, infrastructure, politics, manufacturing, service providing, education, and technology. A child born in Ghana has access to free education, water, and feeding. Once you are in Ghana, you must try local cuisine – dishes like Akple, Fufu, and Tuozafi.

In terms of economy, Ghana can boast of a solid and well-developed economy. Ghanaians enjoy basic social amenities. The Cedi (the official Ghanaian currency) also stands strong on the world market. Do you know Ghana is the second country in Africa in terms of cybersecurity?

Sports and entertainment

Ghana can boast of numerous famous entertainers and athletes. The Ghana black stars (the Ghana football team) is one of the most feared and successful football teams in Africa, with legends like Stephen Appiah, Abedi Pele, and Asamoah Gyan. WWE superstar Kofi Kingston is also a Ghanaian by birth. 

Do you know the famous Idris Elba also traces his ancestry to Ghana?

Tourist Attractions

The country of Ghana is very famous for its tourist attractions. Here are some top tourist sites that we in BreathList would suggest you visit anytime you are in Ghana.

The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum

Kwameh Nkurmah Mausoleum

The Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum is built-in the heart of Accra. This is the resting place of one of the greatest Pan-African leaders, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He led Ghana to independence and played a great role in the freedom of other west African countries. The mausoleum is adorned with several sculptures and statues of him. An interesting fact is that this place also houses the remains of his wife, Fathia Nkrumah. She wished to be buried beside him. So upon her death, her body was sent to Ghana and she was laid to rest with her husband, perhaps the greatest Ghanaian ever, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

The Sword of Okomfo Anokye

In Kumasi lies the most mystical and wondrous tourist attraction ever in Ghana, the Sword of Okomfo Anokye, the great chief priest who took part in formation of Ashanti Kingdom. Legend has it that the Priest wielded this sword, planted it into the earth and claimed no one could unearth it. And somehow magically all human and technological efforts to remove this sword have proved futile. It has however been closed to public touching, you can only see it but not allowed to touch for preservation reasons. Visit the sword site and see it for yourself! It is one of our must-see tourist sites that provides almost 25 percent of total tourism revenue in Ghana.

The Kakum National Park

This beautiful and lush green ecological nature park is a canopy walkway. Kakum National Park is one of the only three canopy walkaways in Africa. The area is covered by a tropical forest. The outstanding nature of this park is the reason that it was created by the locals and not by any wildlife authority or government act. It connects seven (7) rooftops that give access to the forest. It also houses endangered species of animals and birds, notable among them are the white-breasted guinea fowl, the hornbill, and the grey parrot.

Waterfalls

Ghana has countless waterfalls, from the Tini falls, Boti falls, Wli waterfalls. Ghana can boast of all this. So whenever you get into Ghana just tell your guide you want to visit the nearest waterfall and you will be genuinely amazed.

Nzulenzu

Nzulenzu Stilt houses

Perhaps the most iconic town ever, is the village built on stilts. Nzulenzu was built over lake Tandane and consists of seamlessly integrated stilts. This town is amazingly masterfully built with sticks on top of the water. The local people say it was built by people from Oualata, a town in the ancient Ghana Empire, present-day Mauritania which came about from following a snail. The reason why the town was built over water is still unknown.

But there is more, much more...

Other amazing tourist attractions to visit in Ghana are the Tafi monkey sanctuary, Avu-lagoon, the Larabanga mosque, Mole national park and, Paga crocodile pond, where you can sit and take pictures with wild crocodiles without any fear of being harmed.

Mole National Park

Despite the diversity in Ghana and its culture, the people are welcoming and Ghana is the most peaceful country in West Africa and one of the most peaceful countries in the world. All you need is your mosquito repellent and sunscreen to save you from the pesky flies and 'at times' hot temperatures. Apart from that, just be prepared to have the best time.

“Akwaaba and Woezor”, We are looking forward to welcome you to Ghana.

Posted by Desmond Dorvlo
Desmond Dorvlo
Hi I’m Desmond, I write articles and blogs for breathlist.com.

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