Ayerye Festival

Ayerye Festival

Between September and December
Fante communities in southern Ghana have organized themselves into local military companies called asafo groups for at least the last few hundred years. The Ayerye Festival celebrates and maintains this tradition of local self-defense. When young men come of age, their fathers traditionally give them guns; the Ayerye Festival is a kind of communal initiation occasion, in which the older men share their experience and skills with the new young initiates in order to help prepare them to take their places some day. There are mock battles and competitions designed to help the young men develop their skills.
CONTACTS:
Ghana Embassy
3512 International Dr. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-686-4520; fax: 202-686-4527
www.ghanaembassy.org
SOURCES:
FestGhana-1970, p. 44