Edina celebrates Bakatue

Edina celebrates Bakatue

Hundreds of people joined the people of Elmina for the lifting of the ban on fishing activities in the Benya lagoon, Bakatue festival on Tuesday.

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They had travelled from various areas in Ghana and outside Ghana to participate in the festival, which will be climaxed with a durbar on Saturday, July 8, 2023.

A delegation from Aneho in Togo believed to have roots in Elmina were also present for the festival.

Rites were performed at the banks of the Benya lagoon to traditionally lift the ban on fishing in the lagoon.

The lifting of the ban will allow for fishing in the Benya lagoon.

There was a display by mostly women groups on canoes with the traditional colourful Tekua, a traditional head style on the lagoon and a regatta that added excitement to the occasion.

The annual Bakatue is the festival of the people of Elmina and would be climaxed on Saturday.

The theme for the festival this year is, “Eat what we grow and grow what we eat”, 

The rites

A net is cast three times by traditional priests after traditional rituals to signify the lifting of the ban after which the fish caught is presented to the Omahen, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI.

There was enough fish caught which was presented to a visibly elated Nana Kodwo Condua VI which signified a bumper fishing season.

Solomon Ebo Appiah 

The Municipal Chief Executive for the Komenda-Edina Eguafo Abrem municipality, Solomon Ebo Appiah advised the people to rise above partisan politics and work in unity for the development of the area.

This year's festival is significant as it would also mark Nana Conduah’s 25 years as paramount chief.

Meaning

Bakatue, which is Fante, translated to English means “the opening of the lagoon.”

It is celebrated to invoke the deity, Nana Benya’s continuous protection of the state and its people.  

The history

According to history, the founder of Amankwakrom, which became the Edina State, Kwa Amankwa, migrated from the Savana-based Walata Empire, and settled at Techiman for some time before moving to Eguafo near Elmina.

In search of drinking water, he discovered a small stream and exclaimed “Be-enya” which means “I have found or got it”.

He erected a hut near the lagoon. 

History indicates that after finding the lagoon Kwa Amankwa bowed and worshipped solemnly, the god of the Benya Lagoon self-manifested and was with him for eight days, after which a covenant was concluded between him and the deity.

The festival date is said to be the celebration of that meeting as agreed by Amankwa and Nana Benya, the deity.

Some activities mapped out for this year’s celebration include the ‘All colours carnival’ and a state dance.

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