FROM DAYS of old, and over the ages, Traditional Priests and Priestesses has been the mouth-piece of the gods. They are known to make the wishes of the gods known to the people in whatever situation…And in short, they make it known that the gods are ‘AWAKE”.
However, when the gods refuse to speak through such divine priests and priestesses, then there is a really BIG problem to the community. Furthermore, when the gods refuse to answer the people, it becomes a more worrisome situation and that is a really BIG, BIG problem.
In fact, in the Traditional sense, the relationship between the Priests and Priestesses and the gods of the land is just as the Prophets and Prophecy in the Good Book, The Bible, is to in relation to the worship of the Almighty God –YAWEH.
If not for the purpose of man’s periodic inquisition and probing to unearth the hidden, just like King Saul did in the days of old, the time that the gods tend to speak to the people via their respective Priests or Priestesses are during the festive periods when they (gods) are invoked.
This scenario cuts across most, if not all, traditional religions of the world, particularly, African Traditional Religion.
However, when the gods refuse to talk, remaining silent, especially, during traditional festive periods, then that is a REALLY, BIG…BIG…BIG problem…and such is the situation of the people of La in the celebration of this years’ unique homowo festival.
The Homowo celebration of the people of La is very distinct and unique from other Homowo celebrating GaDangme communities. From beginning to the end, Wulomei, Priests and Priestesses under the able leadership and tutelage of the High Priest – Lakpa Wulomo, perform ninety-nine (99) different rites which add to the beauty and glamour of the La Homowo celebration. In most of these rites, the gods are supposed to speak, otherwise, there is ‘trouble’.
This year, 2012, it seems the gods chose to keep quiet in La, refusing to respond even when evoked to the “highest” possible order of incantation: They simply remained SILENT! …and the people are asking why. The ‘Amlakui’ – Traditional elders who are mostly at the forefront in the performance of all the rites in La insist the Lakpa kept SILENT and they are also asking why.
Knowing my people very well, I, Nii Otuabaa I, would rather not sound sarcastic but ask very pertinent questions as heard from “lai yalכi anaa”, that is to say, passers by..
Let me emphatically say that; at times, Lamei opt to celebrate an abridged version of their unique Homowo, and when that is made open, and permission sought from the gods, they (gods) are known to partake actively in the celebrations. But when the people do not communicate to their gods of that intention…then maybe – they would or better still, that is why they remained silent.
Now to Otuabaa’s pertinent questions:
(a) La is known to commence performing its rites from the next half moon after the Christian Easter. Is it true that because of some feud between the traditional authorities, the timing eluded them and the rites started late?
(b) Is it also true that because of the above, two rites ‘Blכi ahejuu (Purification of Brooms) and Wכtε Jwramכ” (Pucification of Shrine Stones) were performed on the same day instead of two separate days (a week apart) at the various shrines?
(c) Is it true that the festive catch from the fishing expedition (ŋshכ bulemכ) was for the first time in the history of the Homowo celebration, not taken to Apaitse We clan house leading to a nasty feud at the Lakpa shrine?
(d) Is it true that “gift items” from Gble, Brekusu, which was to be brought to the Lakpa shrine under the cover of darkness was brought in the full glare of the people when the items were conveyed to the shrine under some street lights?
(e) It is known that Lamei do not mingle their celebration with funerals, and so after the general ban on noise making, funerals are no more held in the town. However, is it true that some Traditional elders/leaders went and bargained for a whooping GH¢5,000.00 plus a cow and others for an extension of late President Mills’ funeral at the Trade Fair Centre, on La soil, which tend to be a hoax; but rather a musical extravaganza to disturb the peace of the gods?
(f) Is it also true that the Homowo Planning Committee also took advantage of the above and went and collected an amount of GH¢5,000.00 from the Christ Apostolic Church International to hold a week-long Christian programme at the Trade Fair Centre (La land) amidst drumming and dancing to the beautiful Ghanaian Gospel songs?
(g) Is it true that the Amlakui were coaxed into continuing with the performance of rites after they have been upset by the incessant defilement of the customary rites of the Homowo celebration; and that the Kpa-fio which normally ends at around 23.00 hours (GMT) extended well after midnight without a word from the gods?
(h) Is it also true that the Kpa-nkpa was a flaw after the gods refuse to possess the Priestess?…and that many incantations could not compel the gods to utter a word?
(i) Is it true that the ŋככ wala (obtain or accept life) rite which is performed early in the morning and not beyond 09.00 hours (GMT) was performed after 12.00 noon.
(j) Is it also true that, the fetish drums of the Lakpa deity was taken to and beaten at Adorso (Dzrasee) and other wrong places for the first time in the history of the Homowo celebrations? – and under whose authority…and who was it to please?
(k) Last but not the least, is it true that some of the traditional elders are behind these defilements to ‘punish’ or ‘dispose off’ the current Lakpa Wulomo because he is ‘disrespectful’?
If the answer to any of the above question is a simple YES, then the gods have every right to remain SILENT…and SILENT they should remain until things are done the right way. If it were to be an administrative or political negligence, I, Nii Otuabaa I, would have the audacity to say as it is said in political parlance – “Heads must roll” in La before the next Homowo celebration.