Ghana West Coast has a very rich cultural heritage, stemming from its ethnic and European influences. The main ethnic influences emanate from the Ahanta, Nzema, Evalue and Fante ethnic groups, and the European influences are mainly from the Portuguese, Dutch, British and Brandenburg-Prussians. The culture of the area is manifest in its traditional rites and practices, music and dance, cuisine, religion, chieftaincy system, and livelihood activities. This culture can be experienced first-hand when one chooses to live within the local community, in a home stay.
For those who are merely passing through, or who choose to stay in accommodation outside the local communities, exciting guided cultural tours are available, where visitors are taken through the communities and traditional livelihood sites.
Particularly on Saturdays, visitors may chance upon traditional practices like marriage ceremonies, baby naming ceremonies (called ‘outdoorings’), and funerals. The annual Kundum Festival, with its colourful Durbar of Chiefs and regatta competitions, is celebrated from town to town, between the months of August and November.
Though Christianity (and to a certain extent, Islam), has taken root in most of the communities along the West Coast, African Traditional Religion is still actively practised. Deities in the form of trees, islands, water bodies, and so on, are worshipped, and shrines, sacred groves and fetish priests are still patronised today.
On the cultural tours, visitors will find it exciting to see how people in the communities fish and farm with age-old traditional processes. It is fascinating to see how raw fishing and farming products are processed with traditional methods, particularly when it comes to smoking fish, producing palm and coconut oil, tapping palm wine, and distilling gin.