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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Calendar and the annual festival in Nzema: notes on time and history
Author:Valsecchi, PierluigiISNI
Periodical:Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione
Geographic term:Ghana
traditional festivals
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40761412
Abstract:This article examines the historical calendrical system of the Nzema people of southwest Ghana and its relationship to the annual 'kundum' festival. The Nzema ritual calendar is clearly connected with other variants documented in the Akan region. The days are ordered in cycles of seven, and three different seven-day cycles follow each other in a three-week cycle. All over the Ahanta-Nzema area, the 'kundum' is held in the period following the main rainy season of the year. The festival starts in the easternmost part of Ahanta and advances southwestward, touching in succession all the historic polities forming the Ahanta-Nzema group. Although the local 'kundum' in eastern and western Nzema is emphatically linked to that in Ahanta, the setting of the date for the celebrations in Nzema appears to lack any calendrical connection with the three-week cycle. Instead, the celebrations seem to relate to the lunar cycle. The author witnessed the celebration of 'kundum' in Benyinli in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996. Notes, ref., sum. in French and Italian.