Annually, the Aboakyer Festival takes place in Winneba, a town in Ghana’s Central Region. The native residents of the area, the Effutu people, enjoy the celebration.
The festival lasts for two days and is typically held in May. The festival’s main goal is to remember the Effutu people’s journey from their original birthplace in Western Sudan to their current location in Ghana.
A deer-hunting competition is part of the event, in which two teams of young men from Winneba’s two main neighbourhoods fight to kill the first deer of the year. As a token of their valour and hunting prowess, the winning team gives the deer to the paramount chief of the Effutu traditional territory.
Traditional ceremonies, including a cleansing ritual where participants rid themselves of pollutants, take up the most of the festival’s first day. A parade of chiefs, queen mothers, and other dignitaries carrying their traditional regalia comes next.
The deer-hunting tournament is held on the festival’s second day, which is also its primary day. The two Asafo companies, or groups of young men, left early in the morning to search the nearby woodland for a live deer. The first team to successfully bag a live deer returns to town and parades the animal before the chief.
The event also features displays of regional arts and crafts as well as performances of traditional music and dance. The people of Winneba use this occasion to honour their culture and traditions and to welcome guests from various parts of Ghana and the world.