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Hon. Bede Anwataazumo Ziedeng
Hon. Abu Kabiebata Kansangbata,


The major ethnic groups in the region fall under the broad generic categories of the Mole Dagbon (75.7%) and Grusi (18.4%). The major languages of the region are Dagaare, Sissali, Wale and Lobi.

Religious Affiliation
There are three major religious groupings in the Region, Christianity (35.5%), Islam (32.2%) and Traditional religion (29.3%).

Architecture
The people of the region have a similar style of architecture as that of Upper East. Houses are constructed mainly with mud, with mostly rectangular rooms unlike in Upper East where rooms are predominantly round.

The architecture of the region has been influenced by the Larabanga Mosque which was built by the Moslem immigrant traders from Northern Africa, mainly Mali, who later settled in Wa. Because the Christian influence was already strong in the Upper East and Northern Regions at the time, this architectural style could not be passed on to the other areas.

The houses are built in the form of compounds with gates and with walls plastered with mud and with cement as the main material of the floor. The rooms are mostly decked with mud, and in certain instances, houses are built up to one storey and roofed with iron sheets or thatch from grass. Most of these locally constructed storey buildings can be found within the chief’s palaces, all over the region.

Festivals
Festivals such as Kobine, Kakube, Zumbeti, Willa, Dumba, Paragbiele, Bagre, Kala, Bongngo and Singma portray the way of life of the people of the region. For instance, the Dumba, which is celebrated by the Walas, is to usher in the New Year. It is at this festival that the Chief is assessed as to his physical fitness to continue to rule his people.

During the festival, a live cow is tied and confined to the ground after which the Chief is asked to jump over it without any part of his body or his clothes touching it.

If the Chief is able to successfully jump over it, then, it is a clear indication that he would live to continue ruling his people but if he fails, it is a bad omen which presupposes that he would die shortly because he is considered weak and has no long life to rule anymore. The Kokube festival celebrated by the people of Nandom and the Kobine by the people of Lawra have a common significance and are celebrated to offer thanks to God through the ancestors for blessing them with a bumper harvest.

Handicrafts
Culture is not only observed through the celebration of festivals but can be seen also in handicrafts. In Upper West, the people are engaged in spinning, weaving and smock designing. They produce very beautiful musical instruments like the xylophone and engage in pottery, blacksmithing and carving.

Tourist Centres
Areas of tourist attraction areas in the region include the Wa Naa’s Palace and Dondoli Sudamic (Larabanga) Mosque, Jirapa Naa’s Palace, Nandom all-stone Gothic Art Church and the Hippopotamus Sanctuary at Wechiau. These apart, areas like the Gwollu Slave Defence Wall and Slave site caves as well as George Ekem Ferguson’s tomb attract tourists to the region.

The major ethnic groups in the region fall under the broad generic categories of the Mole Dagbon (75.7%) and Grusi (18.4%). The major languages of the region are Dagaare, Sissali, Wale and Lobi.

Religious Affiliation
There are three major religious groupings in the Region, Christianity (35.5%), Islam (32.2%) and Traditional religion (29.3%).

Architecture
The people of the region have a similar style of architecture as that of Upper East. Houses are constructed mainly with mud, with mostly rectangular rooms unlike in Upper East where rooms are predominantly round.

The architecture of the region has been influenced by the Larabanga Mosque which was built by the Moslem immigrant traders from Northern Africa, mainly Mali, who later settled in Wa. Because the Christian influence was already strong in the Upper East and Northern Regions at the time, this architectural style could not be passed on to the other areas.

The houses are built in the form of compounds with gates and with walls plastered with mud with cement as the main material of the floor. The rooms are mostly decked with mud, and in certain instances, houses are built up to one storey and roofed with iron sheets or thatch from grass. Most of these locally constructed storey buildings can be found within the chief’s palaces, all over the region.

Festivals
Festivals such as Kobine, Kakube, Zumbeti, Willa, Dumba, Paragbiele, Bagre, Kala, Bongngo and Singma portray the way of life of the people of the region. For instance, the Dumba, which is celebrated by the Walas, is to usher in the New Year.

It is at this festival that the Chief is assessed as to his physical fitness to continue to rule his people. During the festival, a live cow is tied and confined to the ground after which the Chief is asked to jump over it without any part of his body or his clothes touching it.

If the Chief is able to successfully jump over it, then, it is a clear indication that he would live to continue ruling his people but if he fails, it is a bad omen which presupposes that he would die shortly because he is considered weak and has no long life to rule anymore.

The Kokube festival celebrated by the people of Nandom and the Kobine by the people of Lawra have a common significance and are celebrated to offer thanks to God through the ancestors for blessing them with a bumper harvest.

Handicrafts
Culture is not only observed through the celebration of festivals but can be seen also in handicrafts. In Upper West, the people are engaged in spinning, weaving and smock designing. They produce very beautiful musical instruments like the xylophone and engage in pottery, blacksmithing and carving.

Tourist Centres
Areas of tourist attraction areas in the region include the Wa Naa’s Palace and Dondoli Sudamic (Larabanga) Mosque, Jirapa Naa’s Palace, Nandom all-stone Gothic Art Church and the Hippopotamus Sanctuary at Wechiau. These apart, areas like the Gwollu Slave Defence Wall and Slave site caves as well as George Ekem Ferguson’s tomb attract tourists to the region.

Demographic Characteristics
The region’s total population is 576,583 of whom 276,445 (47.9%) are males and 300,138 (52.1%), females. The region’s population is predominantly rural (82.5%). The dependent population of (>15 and <64 years) is 49.5 per cent. The region’s population forms 3.0 per cent of the total population of the country, while the sex ratio is 92 males to 100 females.

The region’s population indicates an increase of 31.6 per cent over the 1984 figure of 438,008, and translates into an intercensal growth rate of 1.7 per cent. The region’s population density of about 31 persons per square kilometre may appear low, but there is a large concentration along the western corridor (Lawra, Jirapa and Nadawli areas) where the density is higher than 97 persons per square kilometre.

Economic Characteristics
The main economic activity of the people of the region is peasant farming. This is supported by the fact that 72.2 per cent of the economically active group are engaged in agriculture or related activities. The hard working farmers of the region cultivate maize, guinea corn, millet, yam, rice, soya beans and cotton in addition to the rearing of cattle in large numbers.



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