Kumasi to Kpetoe, Ghana

A Celebration-Trip of the Ghanian Fashion


Boti Falls
The waterfall duo that the natives say enters into wedlock in the rainy season, when the two are joined by the increased flow of the river.
Spotted Interview
Boti Falls Guide gives an interview to Ghanaian journalists.
boss privilege
Tribal chief is transported on a palanquin during the Festival of Kente.
female audience
Group of women in traditional dresses, at the Kptoe Kente Festival exit.
tribal dances
Two dancers squirm during one of the festival's tribal displays.
good-natured speech
Gold-crowned leader continues with a speech that makes the rostrum smile.
Next generation of Kente
Young participants sitting in the shade and dressed in different colored kente motifs.
Intrigued Ghanaians
Ghanaian women examine the intrusion of foreign photographers into a festival that tends to be mostly Ghanaian.
Kente & Gold
Tribal chief on one of the festival stands dressed in kente fabric and filled with gold.
colorful parade
Women's Parade displays a traditional kente pattern from a particular region.
in the shadow of tradition
A colorful crowd watches the festival unfold sitting in the shade of large traditional sunshades.
animated return
Women talk back to their homes after the Kente Festival closes.
Sisters
Young Ghanaians pose for a photograph more intrigued than proud or vain.
Tribal Fabrics and Symbolisms
Young Ghanaians pose for a photograph more intrigued than proud or vain.
Umbrella Rock
Boti Falls visitor examines the whimsical shape of Umbrella Rock.
After some time in the great Ghanaian capital ashanti we crossed the country to the border with Togo. The reasons for this long journey were the kente, a fabric so revered in Ghana that several tribal chiefs dedicate a sumptuous festival to it every year.

The journey from Kumasi to Koforidua took less than we had feared, from eleven in the morning to two-thirty in the afternoon with a jeep exchange along the way.

The one where Frank, the driver of the Ghana tourism authority GTA, had been driving us for a few days, started to generate metallic noises. To which no problem with the battery that caused its light on the dashboard to turn on for everything and nothing would be unrelated.

Accordingly, Frank enters the parking lot of a large cluster of roadside restaurants. He parks beside a jeep like ours, light gray instead of dark.

The two drivers advise passengers to go to the bathroom and buy whatever they want while they are transshipping their luggage. Over lunchtime, we don't make ourselves begged.

We ran our eyes over the profusion of snacks on offer. We bought chicken kebabs and fried yams, everything to take away. We didn't have time to waste. Furthermore, after nine days of our Ghanaian tour, mostly by road, the vehicle's atmosphere had long since ceased to concern us.

We were supposed to arrive at the entrance to some Boti waterfalls before four in the afternoon.

A detour to a bead necklace market dictated by tourism officials Kojo Bentum-Williams and Yoosi Quarm caused a delay that, much as he wished, Frank could not make up for.

The Delayed Visit to Boti Waterfalls

As we enter the park that delimited the waterfalls, a rather ill-tempered retinue of four elements welcomes us, including directors and guides: “We weren't counting on you anymore”, conveys a local director to Kojo, in a dry tone of malpractice disguised. "we close at four, it seems to me that they were informed in due time".

Kojo pulls on the diplomatic braid and solves the predicament as best he can.

Moments later, we were all descending the two hundred and fifty steps that led to the base of the waterfalls, down a slope subsumed in lush, drenched tropical vegetation.

At the bottom, we find a muddy lake, shaded by leafy trees. From this shadow, the Pawnpanw River rushed down from a half-concave cliff, already there in the shape of the two lower Boti waterfalls.

One of the guides who dictated the tradition of the region explains to us that the one on the right was male. The one on the left, female.

And that, during the rainy season, the two waterfalls joined in what the natives considered their mating season, graced by successive rainbows generated by the splashes released by the impact of water and the wind.

Boti Falls, Ghana

Boti Falls: From Lost in the Jungle to Refuge of Rest of the Father of the Ghanaian Nation

Today, a mere natural attraction frequented by Ghanaians during rest periods, the Boti hide a controversial history. For centuries, they remained hidden in the dense jungle of the area. That is how it was until a Catholic missionary gave them and started to use them as a place of rest and entertainment for his core group of guests.

However, the land on which they were situated belonged to the Akyems of Tafo, a tribal group in the area. When they claimed it, they realized that it had already been sold by another tribal chief, to a member of a third tribe. Typical of the Ghana complex, the dispute has not stopped getting complicated.

It required a judicial intervention that, against everyone's will, declared the waterfalls public domain.

By that time, the feud had already made the waterfalls famous. The first Ghanaian Prime Minister and President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah decided to visit them in 1961. The majesty of the natural setting so impressed him that Nkrumah commissioned the regional commissioner to erect a retreat house for him there.

In that flow of the river and the people, time had gone by more than it was supposed to. It was starting to get dark. And yet we are supposed to take a look at another natural peculiarity of the Yilo Krobo region, this one made only of rock, instead of rock and water.

Twilight and Drought Visit to a Mysterious One Umbrella Rock

A Umbrella Rock 2km away, by way of goats. With sunset imminent, Kojo and the entourage decide that we would go through it by jeep instead of on foot.

Once disembarked, in a bluish twilight atmosphere, we unveil a rock formation sculpted by erosion, inspired by a mushroom and that the popular imagination highlighted being able to shelter 12 to 15 of its own from the tropical rainforests at once.

Umbrella Rock, Kente Festival Agotime, GhanaEven without rain, despite the almost night, the entourage, already well expanded compared to the one told in Boti, indulges in endless photos and selfies, in a communal session that only the absolute darkness of that valley lost in the nothingness of Akpamu put an end to.

We set off towards Koforidua, the capital of these parts of the country, treated by its youth by K-Dua or KofCity.

An Amazing Night and Pass through Koforidua

No matter how informal the city was called, they direct us to a so-called Royal Hotel.

Due to the computer work we were late, we slept a mere five hours.

At 8:10 am, we woke up like zombies, decomposed by Kojo with whom, as a rule, we complained every morning, because he and Yoosi dictated the beginnings of the day to be much later than we wanted.

We left in two jeeps, up the mountain, at great speed, with the four blinkers on, honking and overtaking too dangerous, in a mini-caravan that only lacked sirens to take on a special operation.

The Embassy to the Tribal Chief of the Region that Never Found a Place

Despite the commotion, Yoosi explains the occurrence to us: “we are taking a detour. We're supposed to salute the tribal chief of this region and we're too late.

In Ghana, the bosses are superb. They don't like to wait. When made to wait, visitors have to offer them a cow. It doesn't come cheap, believe me!”

We believed. When we check into The Royal Senchi – the resort on the Volta River marked as a meeting point – that Tribal Chief was no longer there. We didn't understand who would buy the beef,

A European hotel manager greets us. We drank welcome cocktails and took an official photo of that play-and-run visit.

We left again, this time appointed to the Ghanaian tourism delegation from Ho, eastern region of Ghana that we would come to explore more

Stopover in Ho City, En route to the Famous Kente Kpetoe Festival

There, a city guide joins us. Nii Tawiah shows us the way to Kpetoe, the place east of Ho where, since 1995, the Agbzmevorza festival, better known as Agotime Kente, has been held every year.

Not to vary, the estimates and preparations of the duo Kojo and Yoosi fail again.

Instead of starting only in the afternoon, as Kojo had informed us, the festival was already taking place on a clear lawn.

Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, assistanceA crowd, partly seated, partly standing, in the shade of elegant tribal sunshades, occupied a wider, let's say popular, sector.

Rompante entry at the Agotime Kente Festival already in full

In the center stood out a platform with a canopy in the colors of the Ghanaian flag and which housed the highest representatives of several ethnic sub-nations of Ghana.

In practice, during the festival there is a reception of chefs and their subjects who arrive with the superior purpose of exhibiting different types of costumes and fabrics. kente produced in their regions.

Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, young participantsThe festival takes place in Agotime, a place that proclaims that it was its people who introduced the art of its Kente weaving into present-day Ghanaian territory.

However, the village of Bonwire, near Kumasi, the center of the country's Ashanti ethnic group, is also considered a Ghanaian source of Kente.

Whatever its Ghanaian origin and soul, the art of kente has spread and diversified.

Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, paradeKente is woven in silk and cotton bands in the most diverse forms and levels of quality that we saw dressed in the guise of a toga on men, women and even children around.

There is authentic kente woven only by traditional means. There is also another intermediary that comes out of Ghanaian factories such as Viisco and Akosombo Textile Lda.

Then – there's no escaping it – a cheap mass-produced version in China is still marketed, as a rule, for consumption by the western public.

The Diversity of Patterns and the Meaning of Kente Shades

In any case, each of the colors used in the kente patterns has its meaning: black is identified with maturity, ancestral spirituality, funeral, mourning and the like. Blue with peace, harmony and love. Green with vegetation, planting, harvesting, growing, spiritual renewal. Gold with royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity.

And so on, as for the rest of the chromatic spectrum. Kente patterns are complex and identified with a name and even a message from the weaver.

Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, sisters

Fabric names, such as colors and patterns, prove to be important elements when Ghanaians acquire their kente. If money is not an issue, fabric quality never will be either.

The most valuable Kente is by far the traditional one worn by traditional chiefs who enjoyed shining on the surrounding lawn and tribunes, crowned and decorated with strings, bracelets, rings, medallions and other gold paraphernalia.

Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, gold

And that, protected from the afternoon tower by a large canvas tent and sunken in armchairs, we could hear speeches in slow motion, it seemed to us that there was no end.

At one point, the organization was forced to rush and cut short the speeches that followed, a heavy blow to some leaders who had been preparing their illustrious messages for days.

Dances, Traditional Exhibitions and those of the Tribal Chiefs, elevated on Eccentric Palanquins

We return to the open lawn. There, dance exhibitions begin to the rhythm of jambés, drums and species of Ghanaian maracas.

Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, dancesThe women line up. They dance in a row and display their kentes and the voluptuous forms pressed into them in a circle of sunny ecstasy, proud and smiling.

It wasn't the first Ghanaian tribal festival we attended. We had lived the Fetu Afahye with incredible intensity, on the streets of Cape Coast.

As the afternoon drew to a close, the feeling that something unavoidable was lacking in that Agotime Kente Festival intensified in us. It only lasted a few minutes.

From one moment to another, the dances, the drums, the jambés, all the music and other popular expressions on the lawn vanished.

Two chiefs approached the back of the clearing, in a plane above the crowd. Part of this crowd, by the way, carried them on lush palanquins, sorts of large gilded bathtubs patterned with intricate motifs.

Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, tribal chiefAt a central point of the lawn, clear of people by the organization's security guards, the chiefs stand side by side, each wrapped in the respective kente toga, brandishing their sword and other significant elements of their royalty and the supremacy that justified exhibiting there eyebrows.

Soon, they followed their own destinies and that of their peoples.

All power has limits.

In the meantime, yours was transferred to the central stand. There the awards and national and magnanimous closing speeches would be inaugurated.

They set the tone for a gradual stampede from the crowd.

Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, backReturning to the homes and humble dresses of everyday Ghanaian life. If the gods allowed it, the following year kente would be celebrated again.

Volta, Ghana

A Tour around Volta

In colonial times, the great African region of the Volta was German, British and French. Today, the area east of this majestic West African river and the lake on which it spreads forms a province of the same name. It is a mountainous, lush and breathtaking corner of Ghana.
Elmina, Ghana

The First Jackpot of the Portuguese Discoveries

In the century. XVI, Mina generated to the Crown more than 310 kg of gold annually. This profit aroused the greed of the The Netherlands and from England, which succeeded one another in the place of the Portuguese and promoted the slave trade to the Americas. The surrounding village is still known as Elmina, but today fish is its most obvious wealth.
Accra, Ghana

The Capital in the Cradle of the Gold Coast

Do From the landing of Portuguese navigators to the independence in 1957 several the powers dominated the Gulf of Guinea region. After the XNUMXth century, Accra, the present capital of Ghana, settled around three colonial forts built by Great Britain, Holland and Denmark. In that time, it grew from a mere suburb to one of the most vibrant megalopolises in Africa.
Nzulezu, Ghana

A Village Afloat in Ghana

We depart from the seaside resort of Busua, to the far west of the Atlantic coast of Ghana. At Beyin, we veered north towards Lake Amansuri. There we find Nzulezu, one of the oldest and most genuine lake settlements in West Africa.
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
Nikko, Japan

The Tokugawa Shogun Final Procession

In 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa inaugurated a shogunate that united Japan for 250 years. In her honor, Nikko re-enacts the general's medieval relocation to Toshogu's grandiose mausoleum every year.
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.

In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Safari
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Architecture & Design
Castles and Fortresses

A Defending World: Castles and Fortresses that Resist

Under threat from enemies from the end of time, the leaders of villages and nations built castles and fortresses. All over the place, military monuments like these continue to resist.
Adventure
Volcanoes

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
orthodox procession
Ceremonies and Festivities
Suzdal, Russia

Centuries of Devotion to a Devoted Monk

Euthymius was a fourteenth-century Russian ascetic who gave himself body and soul to God. His faith inspired Suzdal's religiosity. The city's believers worship him as the saint he has become.
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts, Berkeley Memorial
Cities
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

A Capital at the Caribbean Sea Level

Nestled between the foot of Olivees Mountain and the ocean, tiny Basseterre is the largest city in Saint Kitts and Nevis. With French colonial origins, long Anglophone, it remains picturesque. It is only distorted by the gigantic cruises that flood it with hit-and-run visitors.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
Meal
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Culture
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines
Sport
Philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Entrance porch in Ellikkalla, Uzbekistan
Traveling
Uzbekistan

Journey through the Uzbekistan Pseudo-Roads

Centuries passed. Old and run-down Soviet roads ply deserts and oases once traversed by caravans from the Silk RoadSubject to their yoke for a week, we experience every stop and incursion into Uzbek places, into scenic and historic road rewards.
Tulum, Mayan Ruins of the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Ethnic
Overall, Mexico

The Most Caribbean of the Mayan Ruins

Built by the sea as an exceptional outpost decisive for the prosperity of the Mayan nation, Tulum was one of its last cities to succumb to Hispanic occupation. At the end of the XNUMXth century, its inhabitants abandoned it to time and to an impeccable coastline of the Yucatan peninsula.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Passage, Tanna, Vanuatu to the West, Meet the Natives
History
Tanna, Vanuatu

From where Vanuatu Conquered the Western World

The TV show “Meet the Native” took Tanna's tribal representatives to visit Britain and the USA Visiting their island, we realized why nothing excited them more than returning home.
Puerto Rico, San Juan, walled city, panoramic
Islands
San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Highly Walled Puerto Rico of San Juan Bautista

San Juan is the second oldest colonial city in the Americas, after the Dominican neighbor of Santo Domingo. A pioneering emporium and stop over on the route that took gold and silver from the New World to Spain, it was attacked again and again. Its incredible fortifications still protect one of the most lively and prodigious capitals in the Caribbean.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Literature
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
very coarse salt
Nature
Salta and Jujuy, Argentina

Through the Highlands of Deep Argentina

A tour through the provinces of Salta and Jujuy takes us to discover a country with no sign of the pampas. Vanished in the Andean vastness, these ends of the Northwest of Argentina have also been lost in time.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Walk on the coast, Villarrica volcano, Pucon, Chile
Natural Parks
Villarrica Volcano, Chile

Ascent to the Villarrica Volcano Crater, in Full Activity

Pucón abuses nature's trust and thrives at the foot of the Villarrica mountain. We follow this bad example along icy trails and conquer the crater of one of the most active volcanoes in South America.
Willemstad, Curacao, Punda, Handelskade
UNESCO World Heritage
Willemstad, Curaçao

The Multicultural Heart of Curaçao

A Dutch colony in the Caribbean became a major slave hub. It welcomed Sephardic Jews who had taken refuge from the Iberia Inquisition in Amsterdam and Recife. And it assimilated influences from the Portuguese and Spanish villages with which it traded. At the heart of this secular cultural fusion has always been its old capital: Willemstad.
Zorro's mask on display at a dinner at the Pousada Hacienda del Hidalgo, El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico
Characters
El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico

Zorro's Cradle

El Fuerte is a colonial city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. In its history, the birth of Don Diego de La Vega will be recorded, it is said that in a mansion in the town. In his fight against the injustices of the Spanish yoke, Don Diego transformed himself into an elusive masked man. In El Fuerte, the legendary “El Zorro” will always take place.
Cable car connecting Puerto Plata to the top of PN Isabel de Torres
Beaches
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Promise?
Religion
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Society
Military

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
Wildlife
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.