Sunday, 14 October 2012

Songnaayilli Day 2

 Day 2 dawned bright with the usual chorus of crowing cockerels. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast of omelette sandwiches in the sunshine before setting off to watch a new born baby being washed. This is quite a ritual performed by a woman other than the mother for up to 2 months! 

Very hot water is used and it involves a massage and streams of water poured over strategic nether regions to encourage the child to perform at that time rather than waiting until a clean cloth is wrapped around it! A very good idea. 

A herd of children followed us everywhere, desperate to appear in all the photos.

The Assistant Chief led us around the village and finally we were invited to sit under a tree whilst a band and group of exclusively male dancers in wide smocks danced traditional dances for us.  
There was a hint of Morris Dancing about it, especially when the rotation with striking of metal sticks took place. We were expected to join in and none of it was too taxing. It was a considerable struggle for Jeny as she was almost incapable of extricating herself from a crowd of children, most of whom were on her knee, trying to take photos with her camera and ours!!

This was a lovely experience, albeit a little rushed, in a village of very welcoming and genuine people and it gave us an insight into some aspects of Ghanaian life that I had not seen before. As we were planning to leave we sat briefly with a group of Ghanaians, from Meet Africa and the village who were talking about the roles of men and women in Ghana. Times are changing for them too, but they are a long way from female emancipation. Some traditions are very embedded in culture and this culture has a long way to go. The women will continue to do 90% of the work for many years to come, I feel!

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