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ODWIRA FESTIVAL OF ASANTE EFFIDUASE: Effiduase is the administrative capital for the Sekyere East district.

ODWIRA FESTIVAL OF ASANTE EFFIDUASE: Effiduase is the administrative capital for the Sekyere East district. Effiduase is the administrative ...

ODWIRA FESTIVAL OF ASANTE EFFIDUASE: Effiduase is the administrative capital for the Sekyere East district. www.EweGhana.Net
ODWIRA FESTIVAL OF ASANTE EFFIDUASE: Effiduase is the administrative capital for the Sekyere East district.

Effiduase is the administrative capital for the Sekyere East district. Effiduase Township shares boundaries with Dwaben state, Asante Asokore state, Asante Oyoko, Asamang, Agona Paramouncy, Kumawu and also share boundaries with Asante Akyem province near River Anuru.

 Effiduasehene swears oath of allegiance to Asante Mampong and currently the Nifahene of Asante Mampong State.

Oral tradition had it that around1650, Nana Frempɔn Mposu and his nephew Ameyaw of the Bretuo clan led their forefathers through migration to their present day location, Effiduase.

It is believed that they migrated from Ahinsan in Adanse in the Asante region. They migrated in search for a new settlement to escape from the tyrannical rule of the then Denkyirahene, Nana Boa Amponsem I under whom the Adanse state served.

Before their arrival in the present day Effiduase, Nana Frempɔn Mposu and his people battled their way through privation, stopping only three days at a village known as Bawuro near Kumasi. Through thick and thin, they were accompanied by their powerful deity, Afiafi and a Priestess.

They settled at Daaman, one of the settler communities in present day Effiduase. They killed Boti and Akaa upon reaching their present location to acquire the land. The powerful Priestess of Afiafi deity planted a tree known as “Amangyedua” in the middle of the town and instantly, it germinated into a bigger tree the same day.

 Later, the deity also led them into a thick forest through its priestess and introduced to a river and informed them that the river they see is the Afiafi deity they know. That forest is currently the Afiafi forest.

Women traded and men also played oware and other games under the germinated Afiafi tree. Later slaves were sold under the tree during the Trans Atlantic slave trade. The people always referred to that particular spot as ‘Afiafi dua se’ which means under the Afiafi tree and it became Afiduase and later Afigyaase.

In their new settlement, that tree can be still located in the middle of the town. This article seeks to give information about the Odwira Festival of Asante Effiduase.  

Odwira is an Akan word which means purification and the origin of Odwira festival in Asante is the key to the understanding of Asante religious and political life. The festival was established in 1717 by the first Asantehene ɔpemsoɔ Osei Tutu I and the inauguration was associated with the coming  together of various states into the most powerful political and military state.

Kumase was made the capital of the new kingdom. He also created a constitution, reorganized and centralized the military, and created an annual cultural festival Odwira which symbolized the new union. The Odwira festival was an annual festival where chiefs came together to reaffirm their allegiance to the state under the leadership of the Asantehene.

 It’s believed that some elements of Odwira festival survived and found in localized religious festivals such as Wukudae and Akwasidae.  

The beginning of the Odwira festival in Effiduase can be traced after the Asante-Krepi War in 1869-1872 ( Krepi comprised of some Ewe States apart from Anlo) when Asantehene chose Effiduasehene, Nana Yaw Omane to fight Hwamfoɔ (Ewes) after Dwaben declined the offer to fight at the war.

Effiduasehene and his army became victorious. Effiduasehene was made to celebrate and institute Odwira festival in Effiduase by the Asantehene because of his unflinching loyalty towards the Sika Dwa (Golden Stool) after the victory during the war for Asanteman. 

According oral sources, Odwira in Effiduase is celebrated annually and it   begins the ban on noise making, funerals, no wearing of funeral clothes, any morning of the dead for forty days and this period can be known as “ɛda mum” meaning day without noise making.

After three days of the beginning of “ɛda mum”. After Wukudae, the chiefs and elders visit to pour libation to Mfodwo, a deity brought to Effiduase during the Asante war of expansionism in the present day Volta region of Ghana. The Saamanhene (Nsumankwahene) who is the caretaker of the Mfodwo shrine starts eating yam during the beginning of the Odwira before the Krontihene and a week later, Effiduasehene also starts eating yam. At the Mfodwo shrine, Saamanhene (Nsumankwahene) perform rituals using a live cock and the cock will die instantly without been slaughtered. 

The cock is been defeathered without using warm water and the meat is fried for every chief around to eat. The following week, the chiefs and elders embark on “Akwambɔ” which means clearing the path to the Afiafi grove where Traditional Priests perform rituals through singing, drumming and dancing to purify the soul of Effiduaseman.

The Effiduasehene then pour libation to be offered to the Afiafi god. Later the Effiduasehene is been led to the bank of the Afiafi river where he takes his bath and other chiefs followed where there is a firing of musketry. 

Many people came around to the Afiafi god for thanks giving and intercession by offering drinks, money, and sheep to the Afiafi god. It’s believe that any herbs that is been taken from the Afiafi forest can perform miracles. Many people also take their bath at the Afiafi River.

After some hours, the chiefs and the people leave the forest while jubilating and thanking the Afiafi god with the firing of musketry. Krontihene and Gyaasehene will wait along the road. When they hear of a gunshot, then the Krontihene and Gyaasehene will leave to their respective Palaces.

The Chiefs and people head to the Afiafi god house to continue various rituals while the Traditional Priests and Priestess also display the various dances. The next day, the stools of Kronti and Gyaase are been pacify with the feeding of the stools with mashed yam, mutton and egg to solicit blessings from the ancestral spirits at their respective stool house. The following week after Akwasidae, the blacks stools of Effiduase are carried in procession been lead “tɛnee” (front dry palm tree stick) providing a source of light in the midnight.

The black stools of Effiduasehene is been carried to the Subri stream with Effiduasehene walking bare footed which is been followed by the black stool of Okuase (a suburb of Effiduase). 

After the rituals at the Subri stream, the Effiduasehene is been carried in a palanquin with lowered cloth to the Afiafi tree. After descending from the palanquin, he then wears back his sandals while Traditional Priestess perform their “Akɔm”( spirit led dances) and the black stools is been lead by twins wearing white cloth to the Palace.

A sheep is slaughtered and some of the blood is been sprinkled on the black stools. The remaining blood of the slain sheep and its intestines is used to prepare food known as “ɛkyim”. Yam is been used to prepare “ɛtɔ” (mashed yam) and boiled eggs for the black stools.

The following week, the ban on noise making, funerals, no wearing of funeral clothes, no morning of the dead for forty days is been lifted. The festival is concluded when chief and his Elders sit in state in a grand durbar to bid farewell to dignitaries, visitors and well-wishers until the next festival.

The Odwira festival in Asante can be only celebrated by Asantehene and any chief who went for war and beheaded the head of the enemy chief. 

Mase mo sɛ, "Tete bɛka ason no, na efi teka kyerɛ". My heartfelt gratitude goes to Asante Effiduase Krontihemaa Nana Ayowa, Oheneba Amoatemaa, Kwabena Okyere, Akosua Serwaa of Effiduase Kronti and Okyeame Adjei of Effiduasehene for their time and knowledge they share with me.

Credit: Kofi frimpong ( The kingdom of Asante)
#thekingdomofasante #thekingdomofasantetv 


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EweGhana.Net Inspiring Our Culture: ODWIRA FESTIVAL OF ASANTE EFFIDUASE: Effiduase is the administrative capital for the Sekyere East district.
ODWIRA FESTIVAL OF ASANTE EFFIDUASE: Effiduase is the administrative capital for the Sekyere East district.
EweGhana.Net Inspiring Our Culture
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