Record crowds gathered at Winneba, a traditional district along the Ghanaian coast, for the annual bushbuck catching festival last weekend.
GV Crowd waiting under tent for hunters to arrive
MCU Hunters, accompanied by young boys, dance into arena.
REAR VIEW Spectators cheering on hunters.
GV Women spectators
CUs Men holding linguist sticks. (3 shots)
MCU Commander Otoo and other tribal chiefs and officials watching ceremony. (2 shots)
CU Hunters jogging into arena.
GV Spectators, including two European women. (2 shots)
MV Priest inspects bushbuck carcass and anoints it. (2 shots)
MV Men hold up roasted bushbuck in offering.
CU Hunters celebrating.
GV Priests and others outside shrine. (2 shots)
GV Trees PAN DOWN TO shrine entrance with two carcasses. (3 shots)
GV Hunters continue celebrations. (2 shots)
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Background: Record crowds gathered at Winneba, a traditional district along the Ghanaian coast, for the annual bushbuck catching festival last weekend.
SYNOPSIS: Tradition says this festival of the Effutu tribe is more than 300 years old. It's supposed to date from the time the Effutu first settled at their present home. Some aspects of the festival have changed, Today the tribal hunters must catch a bushbuck, an animal similar to a deer, barehanded. At one time a human sacrifice was demanded and later still a live leopard. This proved to be too dangerous and after some years their god Penkye Otu had to be content with a bushbuck.
All the local leader gather for the festival as very few pageants offer so much gaiety and colour. The festival is something of a competition with two companies of men sent out to catch their prey. Leading the march are the adults, then the youths and then the children. The priests and priestesses and companies of dancers wait behind in the village until the hunters return.
The chief priest then inspects the beast which has been slaughtered and then anoints it for sacrifice. The animal is then roasted and the offering is ready.
All the time the members of the company stampede about with was songs and drumming. It is a display of health, strength and agility. The priests later gather outside the shrine of tem god Penkye Otu to present the offering for final rituals the following day, the companies assemble before the god again. This is the time to ask the oracle what the gods have in store for the state in the new years they have just entered.