Ga Mashie Homowo culminated in the Royal Procession on Saturday, 17th August. Spirits were high and the atmosphere was charged with electric energy as the Ga Mashie people ushered in the traditional new year with a royal procession. The symbolic procession is done in remembrance of how their ancestors survived a grave famine in the past, and to chase away the spirit of hunger (homo woo – hooting at hunger).
The procession began from the palace of the Gbese Mantse (Gbese Mantse We) to the defunct Ussher fort prison, with stop-overs at principal royal houses within the Gbese clan jurisdiction and Ga Mantse palace before returning to the Gbese Mantse Palace.
The Gbese Mantse (Nii Ayi-Bonte II), his kingmakers and other sub-chiefs from villages in the Gbese confines led the procession from one place to another.
Kpokpoi, the sacred meal prepared solely for Homowo, was spread across the corners of Ussher fort and the family houses, inviting the spirit of the founder of the Gbese dynasty Nii Okaijah I and other family ancestors to come and join in the feast.
The Asafoatsemen (traditional warriors) accompanied the procession firing shots with antique muskets as a sign of respect and to protect their chiefs.
Here are scenes from the Homowo Royal Procession
Written by Eric Thomas and Fafa MacAuley
Image credit: Abdul-Haqq Mahama and Abayomi