Kobine Festival



Every year around October, the Kobine (pronounced "Kó-bin-ah") festival is celebrated in Lawra, Ghana. It serves as both a harvest celebration and as a homecoming for people who have left Lawra. People come to Lawra from as far away as Accra (capital of Ghana) or Ouagadougou (capital of Burkina Faso) to join in the festival. The Kobine festival lasts four days.

Most out-of-town guests arrive on the first day. This gives them a time to visit with their family and friends. It's also a day of rest for those who have traveled from far away.

the procession The second and third days are the official festival days. The festival begins with the procession of the traditional chiefs. Each festival participant is clothed with their most beautiful smocks while walking under huge parasols. The procession is led to the festival ground by a group of men portraying elephant "hunters". The "hunters" are dressed in traditional hunting atire, including bows and arrows, and "hunt" a small group of "elephants". These "elephants" are another small group of men holding huge, dried elephant ears, which are waved back and forth. These "hunters" and "elephants" are accompanied by a large group of musicians and drummers from the Lawra Chief's (Lawra Naa's) palace. An incredible amount of people watch the performance which starts at the Lawra Naa's palace and continues to the festival grounds. There's lots of dust and excitement in the air.

The ceremonies continue with speeches by the Lawra Naa, the Lawra District Administrator, as well as other honored guests. After the speeches the festival continues with a dancing competition between groups from different villages. big men on display

drummers and dancres Besides the official program, the Kobine festival is full of music and dancing. For the last years there has also been an all night outdoor disco. Last year's Kobine festival (1996) included the first ever "Miss Kobine competition".

During the Kobine festival the market is not in the usual market square but rather on the festival grounds. The market is larger than usual and there are lots of things to buy. You can find beautiful Ghanaian cloths, calabashes, food, and bicycles. You can also buy traditional artifacts such as antelope horns, skins, elephant bones and feet, and xylophones. traditional artifact on display

And of course every one is drinking pito - the local drink brewed of sorghum - and all the pubs are crowded. The last festival day is for saying good-bye to family and friends - and to recover from the hang over!

Special thanks goes to Ms. Auli Starck and Mr. Antto Vihma for this page of the Navrongo and Lawra HomePage. Their contribution of text and pictures made this possible. If you have any questions on the Kobine festival or anything else, you can reach them at:

antto.vihma@helsinki.fi



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Last updated on March 9, 2004.

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