Accra, June 14, GNA - The Chiefs and people of Nungua have begun activities to usher in the celebration of this year’s Kplejo festival.
The annual celebration, which begins with the filling of a special traditional pot with sacred water three times, is followed by other related customs and practices.
This includes the pilgrimage from Oyibi to Nungua to deliver the first harvested sacred corn in the year to the Gborbu Wulomo (Shitse), the Overlord of the Gadangme State.
This paves way for the Gadangme people to begin the consumption of the new corn which is a significant food crop during the entire celebration of the festival.
The sacred corn is said to be from a generational variety which was planted in the biblical era when Joseph was sold into slavery.
The sacred corn is then sprinkled by the Gborbu Wulomo (Shitse) to the shrines of all the 99 gods in Nungua and to a large extent the Gadangme state.
Throughout the journey from Oyibi to Nungua, no one is allowed to touch the corn until it is received by the Gborbu Wulomo (Shitse).
The Chief Of Oyibi Gonten and Regent of the Nungua Manklalo, Nii Bortey Kofi Frankwa II, in an interview said, according to oral tradition, the Gadangme people who were also in Egypt with the Jews made away with some of the corn seeds and planted them anywhere they settled during their migration process.
Nii Bortey explained that the final place the corn was planted was in Oyibi and as a result, this year the pilgrims walked bare footed from Oyibi to Nungua to hand over samples of the corn to the Gborbu Wulomo (Shitse) to pave way for the entire state to also begin the consumption of the new corn.
He said Nungua was the first Gadangme State to have arrived in present day Ghana from their last stay in Benin City, Nigeria.
Aside the commencement of the consumption of the new corn, Nii Bortey said the public had been notified of a temporary ban placed on funerals and its associated rites from Sunday 26th May to Monday 15th July, 2019 as part of activities to begin the celebration of the festival.
He said the ban would begin after the sacred corn, known locally as Abele had been sprinkled by the Gborbu Wulomo Shitse, Wor-Lumo Konor Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII.
“The sacred maize is carried on foot from Oyibi near Dodowa through the various Nungua communities along the route to Nungua and it is so important that without it, the entire Gadangme Homowo will not be celebrated,” he said.
The ban is expected to affect such areas as Nungua Township and its environs, Teshie/Nungua Estates, Buade, AddoGonno, Odikoman, Kweiman (Nungua Barrier areas), Sakumo Estates, Sakumono Township, Lashibi, Klagon, OkpoiGonno, Baatsonaa, Kotobaabi, NmaiJorn, Borteyman, Santeo, Katamanso, Kweidornuman and the entire Community 18, Oyibi and all town and villages.
Meanwhile, there will also be a one week ban on noisemaking in the afore-mentioned areas from 5pm on Monday 1st July to 6pm on Monday 8th July 2019 to make way for the festival which commences on Saturday 6th July.
On Thursday the 4th of July, there will be the sacred Awitsemor rites for which all persons in the Nungua Township and its immediate surroundings will be required to stay indoors from 10 pm to 5am next day.
According to the Planning Committee of the festival, the ban must be respected to the fullest to forestall any challenges.