The Nsamanfo (Ancestors)
The ancestors form an important part of the Traditional Akan religion. The Ancestors are also known as the Nsamanfo or Old People or Ancient People. They have a prominent place in the thinking and religious practices of our people. Akans believe in life after death therefore when a person's body dies their spirit lives on. The ancestors are feared. At the same time, they are loved and respected; they are believed to be everywhere. They are not approached as gods. The Nsamanfo (Ancestors) are honored and appeased because they are forever watching and protecting us. We believe that they are in close contact with the Supreme Being thus we can call on them for assistance.
One of the most important ways in which our ancestors are honored is through the many festivals that we celebrate to remember them. Akwasidae is a major festival that is held in a cycle of every 40-42 days. It is always on a Sunday. The traditional Akan community often have special events to commemorate Akwasidae such as Akoms which is a traditional worship service with drumming, singing and dancing the ancient songs and rhythms of our ancestors. Every Akan family also sets aside this day to celebrate their family ancestors in other special ways.
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