Naming ceremony or birth rites involves activities bestowed upon a newly born baby to give him or her an identity and usher the baby into the family and the world.
It is performed by every ethnic group in Ghana with different ways. The rite is done on the eighth day after the birth of the baby. The Akans call it "abadinto" , the Ewes call it "vihehedego" and the Gas call it "kpodziemo" and many more.
A brief description of the ceremony among the Akans.
The new child and the mother remain indoors for the first week. The child is out doored on the eighth day. If the child does before the end of the eighth day, it is not given any funeral. When it lives up to the eighth day, then the rite is performed. It is also known as outdooring.
It is mostly performed in the fathers house where both families of the couple gather to witness the occasion. Usually two women carry the baby from the mother and brings it out for the first time.
The ceremony is usually performed by a man of high social status who will ask the father to bring out the name of the baby. The father can decide to name the baby after a renowned person or himself. Sometimes the name of the baby includes the day he or she was born.
The man puts the baby on his lap and mentions his or her name three times. He dips his finger into wine and drops it on the tongue of the baby three times, he does the same with water. This aspect of the ceremony is believed to introduce the newly born baby to virtues of truthfulness and honesty.
Libation is made afterwards as a form of prayer to the family gods and ancestors to ask for protection and more blessings for the baby. Family and friends presents their gifts to the couple.
Importance of the naming ceremony.
An occasion for giving the child a name.
Exhibition of a couples fertility.
Provision of financial support to the couple.
Imparting moral values to the child.
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