Kundum is an annual festival, celebrated by the chiefs and people of Nzema and the Ahanta in the Western Region of Ghana.
It is a belief that, during the period of the festival the people encounter bumper harvest of food-stuffs and fish hence, Kundum is seen as an agricultural festival and associated with the goddess of fertility by the people.
It is of interest to note that, Kundum is also performed because of religious significance. That is, during the celebration of the festival a sacrifice is offered to the ancestors and for that matter the dead. This ensures communication between the living and the dead.
Kundum is mostly celebrated in the month of either June/July/August.
Kundum is a very old festival celebrated by the people,it is known to have originated around (17th Century). Hence, most of the people came to meet its existence. During the celebration of most of the festivals in Ghana which Kundum is no exception, travelling outside the towns are not encouraged. This is so, since participation in the celebration of the festival is greatly welcomed by all (chiefs and people).
Besides, going far to farm for instance, most of the people in Western Region of Ghana are cocoa farmers so it is not advisable to go deep into the forest for farming activities. Likewise the fishermen,do not have to go deep sea fishing where they will stay very long on the sea for turnout on the festival grounds should be high.
Mode of Celebration
During the celebration of the Kundum festival, certain activities that go on include;
The pouring of libation at five traditional spots at the periphery, outskirt of the town. These spots are believed to be the abode of five gods/ goddesses, some of which may be mountains, trees, rivers, lakes, streams or even the sea goddess. Drumming and dancing on some of the days especially in the evenings also takes place to keep the festive spirit moving.
Again, the ritual of lighting the special fire goes on. This activity is done in the evening at about 7.00 p.m. at the chief’s palace. In the process, a whole lot of people gather around including, sub-chiefs, elders, people in the town and visitors who are in to witness the festival. Here, grievances are brought and solutions found to them, libation is also poured by the chief to get the ancestors involved in the celebration ebration of the festival.
However, it must be noted that, some of the sub-chiefs and elders (familyheads) light such fires on which meal are prepared (Kundu festive meal) for kingsmen, visitors and the public for a general Ghanaian hospitality.
In course of the festival, individual and family diferences are settled and deceased relatives are also remembered . The chief then sits in a palanquin and is paraded through the principal streets in the town and durbar of chiefs and people is held. There is also an entertainment package like the Kundum state dance and the crowning of Miss Kundum to climax the festival occasion.