Ash Festival

The people of Kweemu prama celebrate Ash (ife; white clay) annually as a symbol of the end to the hunger period.

Located on the outskirts of Simpa, they had the privilege of spying for the Otuano family and to alert them of an incoming danger. Their location along the path; kwan mu, earned them this name Kweemu.

On the very first Wednesday of July, the osɔw and elders of the prama pour libation using a variety of drinks; both sweet and liquor (Schnapps and local gin) to their resident fetish, Gyaha. On the next Wednesday, they mix water with white clay (ife) in an earthenware bowl and weeds collected from the Muni Lagoon. All members of the prama then use this to make marks on the face and limbs. It is then brought to the Kings palace where he also does same and musketry is fired. The stuff is then sent back to the prama.

After this they go to Akyeampong ano to inform them of the ceremony. They only fire musketry at their prama but the men from Kweemu go out to town firing musketry. It is known that groups of them would go in turn to their in-laws and fire musketry there and would be given ayekoo (congratulations) in the form of drink or token cash. In the evening the osɔw and elders send the remaining mixture of the white clay to the beach in a wood carved bowl and after libation is poured discard the stuff into the sea.

The essence of this ceremony is to inform the people of Simpa that it is the end of the hunger period and that the major fishing season is about to commence. This enables them to start mending nets and making preparations for the fishing season. In some cases, it is said that by the time of the ceremony signs of a prosperous season would have been seen by the fishermen already. It is also said that the rituals also opens the way for a successful Akomase festival in August. The significance of this festival is derived from the fact that those were times when calendars were not known and such ceremonies marked the seasons.