Homowo: Gbese Mantse sprinkles first ‘kpokpoi’

By Patrick Nudzi/Hafsa Obeng  
Accra, Aug. 13, GNA – His Royal Majesty, Dr Dr Nii Ayi Bonte, Gbese Mantse, has sprinkled the first ‘kpokpoi’ to pave way for the celebration of Homowo in Ga Mashie.  
The ritual is a longstanding custom that precedes the sprinkling of ‘Kpokpoi’ by any sub chief.  
It is to also thank the gods and the ancestors for a bounty harvest from fishing and farming after a period of famine.  
The Gbese Mantse, also then Adonten of the Ga State, led the elders and Asafoatsemei to sprinkle the ‘kpokpoi’ at Ussher Fort, and James Town, the ancestral home of the people of Ga Mashie.  
Before the arrival of the colonial masters, the Ussher Fort served as the cemetery for the people with a shrine and, therefore, during Homowo, the ancestors are invited to come and ‘eat’ first before the ‘Kpokpoi’ is sprinkled at key places and streets.  
The Gbese Mantse performed the first rite of scooping the ‘tsile’ and tuna fishes to mix with the ‘kpokpoi’ and gave out a handful of the meal to some elders, asafoatses and people around. 
He also sprinkled some at the burial places of late Gbese Mantse; Nii Okaija II, Nii Ayi Bonte I, Nii Okai Pesemaku I, and Kamoah Ayitey Adjen I.  
Homowo is derived from two Ga words ‘homo’ meaning hunger and ‘wo’ meaning to hoot.  
It, therefore, means hooting at hunger and celebrated annually between August and September by the Ga State to commemorate the day hunger was defeated, hooted at, and ridiculed.  
The celebration is also to bring families and friends together and to display the values, culture and tradition of the Ga State.