Ever imagine what it will be like if we were to be left to our will with no guarded principles? The list will be endless. Lawlessness and chaos will be the order of the day. Our ancestors, therefore thought it wise to set some regulations that after their enforcement will become a part and parcel of us to tread wisely even today. Traditions at this juncture can be defined as the passing down of customs, norms, and beliefs from generation to generation to help them to be imbibed in the doctrines of their ancestors. Here in Ghana, there are many ethnic groups with traditions that at a glance may seem ridiculous but after careful thought, one will see there is more than meets the eye than we think. A couple of these traditions and the brain behind them are as follows
First of all, is the practice of no sweeping at night by the Ashantis. No matter where a typical Ashanti may be, either home or away, this tradition always manifests. They believe that when one sweeps at night, such a person does away with good things like a favor, success, treasures, and so on and so anyone who knowingly or unknowingly flaunts this tradition is seen as an enemy and dealt with. The underlying reason here is however that when one sweep at night, valuable things that might have accidentally fallen, and since darkness is a friend to hide and seeks, these valuables may innocently be swept away without the sweeper seeing them as such the best time to do such activity is during the day with the sun rays beaming and shining brightly as light. This tradition is very much imbibed in them that, they practice it religiously.
Another tradition that superficially looks ridiculous is the marking of children by some tribes in Ghana. Our forefathers believed that some children come specifically to bring grief to their parents by dying as soon as they are born and to prevent this from happening, they adopted the marking of children tradition. They believed in the spirit world and the fact that if a child is given a blemish, the said child will be rejected by the spirit world as they hate blemishes as such, the child has no options but to stay. Strangely enough, a woman known to experience this series of child death after this act becomes free from this vice. This was predominant among the Ashantis and silsala tribes in Ghana and some of these tribes went as far as giving kids of such nature names as Donko for easy identification. During those times, because phones and the rest were not available, these marks were used since they migrated from the marking of the face to writing on the body and the rest helped one to be easily found when missing since the writing and marking were distinct.
Lastly is the ban on noise making among Ga’s before the main festival Homowo is celebrated. To this tradition, anyone who visits Accra around this time will notice the quietness everywhere. Whether you are from this tribe or not, you are expected to follow this tradition as failure to do so comes with some consequences. Ga’s believe that before they celebrate their festival, the gods, who blessed them and kept them from annihilation come around to usually spread good luck, and as such desire a quiet and serene environment to do their work. A visit to popular jamming places in Accra around this time, though funny is met by silence. This practice is however to preserve the peace of Accra being an otherwise busy day both day and night.