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The motive of the Aboakyer festival is to celebrate the successful migration of the Simpafo (the traditional name given to the Winneba people).
The Simpafo migrated from a town called Timbuktu in the northeast of western Sudan Empire to their present settlement in central Gold coast now Ghana.
This journey was orchestrated and led by two brothers whom, the Simpafo held the believe that, they were protected by a god named otu from all dangers and in order to show appreciation to the god, they consulted the chief priest of the traditional area to ask the god for its preferred sacrifice.
And to their surprise, the god asked for human sacrifice from the royal family of the Simpafo which they agreed and sacrificed for some years till they reasoned that, continuing sacrificing the royal family will extinct the family which they pleaded to the god for a more moderate sacrifice.
And eventually, the god requested a wild cat to be caught alive and presented to it and after the presentation, the wild cat will be beheaded as the sacrifice and done annually hence, the celebration of the Aboakyer festival yearly.
Before the festival started, they placed the god at a town called Penkye and after the resettlement, the god became known as Penkye otu to signify its final home.
To mark the beginning of the festival, the people hunted for the wild cat as the god prescribed and this hunt resulted in many of the Simpafo loosing their dear lives as the animal is to be captured alive and sent to Penkye.
As a result of the loss of lives, the people appealed to the Penkye otu for an alternative to the wild cat which their wish was granted and now instead of the wild cat, they will be presenting a buskbuck.
Two hunting groups were tasked for the capturing of the above mentioned game or animal thus the bushbuck and presenting it to the people at the durbar. The groups namely, the Tuafo (number one) and Dentsifo (number two) are highly respected in the traditional area of the Simpafo.
This festival is celebrated on the first Saturday in the month of May every year and it is one of the major event in Ghana. On the first day of this event, the two warrior groups in Winneba will be engaged in hunting to catch the live bushbuck to be presented to the chiefs and the people of the town in a colorful durbar and subsequently used for the sacrifice.
But the group that will be able to catch the bushbuck alive is usually declared the winner among the two warrior groups and after the sacrifice is made, it marks the start of the festival. The Aboakyer festival is also used for a productive harvest and spiritual protection and guidance from otu god.
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