Ghana’s Upper West Region is one of the country’s 16 regions. It is situated in Ghana’s northwest region, between latitudes 9.8° and 11.O° north and longitudes 1.6° and 3.0 west, and is bordered to the north by Burkina Faso. It encompasses a geographical area of 18,476 square kilometers or 12.7 percent of the entire land area of Ghana.
The Upper East and Northern regions border northern Ghana-Burkina Faso on the east, the Northern area on the south, western Ghana-Burkina Faso on the west, and the Upper West region on the north. In terms of total area, it is Ghana’s sixth largest region and it is rich with diverse cultures.
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Festivals Celebrated in Upper West Region
Chiefs and people from Ghana’s Northern, Savanna, North East, and Upper West regions participate in the Damba celebration. Damba is a Dagbani name, Damma is a Mampruli name, and Jingbenti is a Waali name. The event takes place in the Dagomba lunar month of Damba, which corresponds to Rabia al-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar. Damba is commemorated to commemorate the birth and name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, although the celebration’s actual substance is a glorification of the chieftaincy rather than specific Islamic symbolism. The Gonjas in the Savanna region also commemorate the Damba. The celebration is usually held during a certain month for the Gonjas. The Somo Damba, the Naa Damba, and the Naa Damba are the three sessions of the event.
The “Somo” Damba begins the festival on the 10th day of the month of Damba, accompanied by the ‘Naa’ Kings Damba on the 17th day, and the “bielkulsi,” which is the culmination of the celebration, on the 18th day of the month of Damba. Prayers are offered to ancestors, drumming and dancing are performed, and households pay visits to friends and trade presents during this time.
The chiefs and people of Tumu in Ghana’s Upper West Region celebrate the Paragbeile Festival every year. It is traditionally observed between January and February.
Guests are encouraged to bring food and drinks to share during the celebration. The people dress in traditional attire, and there is a chiefs’ durbar. Dancing and drums are also present.
This festival commemorates a historic event that occurred in the past.
The chiefs and people of Takpo in the Nadowli district of Ghana’s Upper West Region celebrate the Willa Festival every year. The month of April is traditionally used to commemorate it. Others report that it is also observed in March.
Visitors are encouraged to bring food and drinks to distribute during the celebration. The people dress in traditional attire, and there is a chiefs’ durbar. Dancing and drums are also present.
This event is held to express gratitude to their ancestors’ gods, as well as to seek direction, protection, and peacekeeping from the gods of the Wilaa shrine.
The chiefs and people of Kaleo, in the Nadowli area of Ghana’s Upper West Region, celebrate the Zumbenti Festival every year. The month of April is traditionally used to commemorate it. Others believe that it is also observed in May.
Visitors are encouraged to bring food and drinks to share during the celebration. The people dress in traditional attire, and there is a chiefs’ durbar. Dancing and drums are also present.
This event is held to give thanks to their ancestors’ gods, as well as to cleanse the land of evil spirits, pacify the gods, and reunite family. It is also thought to be the best time to be married.
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