Anlo-Ewe People Group


The Anlo-Ewe are primarily located in the southwestern corner of Ghana. They are an amazing people who in the 1400’s fled their homes in Togo and took over the beaches surrounding Ghana. Here they lived for many years until the slave trade came and started shipping off whole communities of people. They migrated northward until they settled into some island and lagoon regions. An area known as the Keta lagoon became the primary location because the surrounding water was shallow enough to prevent slave trading vessels to be able to land.

From there, they used canoes to travel to various places inland where they developed settlements, and carried news and articles for trade.  They developed a lifestyle and living pattern focused around the water. Development of small scale marine commercial activities for sustenance began immediately. These activities included the construction of canoes for fishermen who navigated the lagoon for usable fishing sites and canoe landings. Hunters used the canoes to explore other islands and the inlands north of the lagoon for games, drinking water, farm lands and new settlement sites. Farmers shuttled by the canoes between the islands and the fertile inlands to cultivate crops. The canoe shuttle became an important tradition and a major means by which commodities and information flowed freely between the settlement.

The Anlo-Ewe are especially known for a very important aspect of their culture; dance-drumming. Everyone in the community participates and it is seen as a way to promote the future of the community. If someone refuses to participate they are rejected from society and most importantly they are denied the right to be buried. The drumming events also reflect rank. The male and female elders give advice on the performance and make sure the event is carried out in the time-honored ways. The next level is held by the composer, the head drummer, and someone similar to a conductor who places people and makes sure that they are performing the right way. The hierarchy continues to the lowest social levels as they sing, dance, or clap rattles to add to the performance.

Religion among the Anlo-Ewe is extremely important; everything is seen in a spiritual sense. Whatever happens, happens for a reason. Everything on earth: tree’s, human beings, animals, all have varying levels of force. It is a human’s right to manipulate or use these forces for their advantage.

The Anlo-Ewe are a community oriented culture. Starting from birth, after the first 7 days a person is introduced to the community and at puberty is told of their responsibilities to it.

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