Fresh from a mention in our last post, Ghana gets its own feature in this edition of Black History Month 2014.
Ghana is a country in west Africa that gained independence on March 6th 1957. It is rich in culture, has various tribes but has also had a colonial and unscrupulous past. Cape Coastal Castle was the main site for the slave trade to the Americas and currently serves as a tourist destination and pilgrimage site for African descendants living in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean.
The wealth of gold in Ghana led to the country’s moniker the “Gold Coast” and also helped establish the Empire of Ashanti in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Ashanti people contributed to the slave trade through the buying and selling of Africans in neighbouring regions whom they brought in to work the gold mines (which incidentally made them rich).
It is said that the Maroons of Jamaica are descended from the Ashanti people.
Here is our WWT treatment of Ghana:
Hike, jog or play a game of footy (European football or soccer) with the locals.
Shea butter has a distinctive scent and is a healing balm for skin and hair.
some staples: yam, cassava and plantain; some dishes: groundnut stew (‘peanut soup’), rice and beans and fufu (a doughy starch often made from mashed yam and/or plantain)
History – Visit Cape Coastal Castle, Elmina Castle and other coastal forts.
Culture – Experience the customs, dress and festivals of the various tribes throughout Ghana.
Nature – See baobab trees and wildlife. Safari in Mole National Park for crocodile, elephant and antelope sightings. There are also Mona monkeys and birds to see. Or just have a beach holiday.
And the extras…
In some countries dance is life. There are Ghanaian dances to bring rain, be social and express puberty rights.
Ghana provides a significant amount of the cocoa used in the world chocolate industry. The Forastero* is the main variety of cocoa bean grown here. February 14th is National Chocolate Day in Ghana.
*Forastero is a relatively high yield and fast growing type of cacao tree. For this reason it is the main cocoa bean used in commercial chocolate production.