OUR GOOD FRIEND, NANA BAFFOUR, IS A YOUNG, HIP TRADITIONAL PRIEST. He has been studying traditional West African spirituality from renowned priests throughout Ghana for more than a decade. Nana B., as we affectionately call him, gave the EBC group a historical tour of an old cocoa plantation in Aburi, a mountainous community 45 minutes outside Accra. Here he provided us with a history of the region and its people and pointed out how different plants and flowers are used for medicinal purposes.
Additionally, Nana B. offered an introduction of Ghanaian traditional worship, highlighting its similarities to and differences from Christianity. He performed a number of popular rituals for the group using fire, alcohol, cowrie shells, beads, and coins as mediums needed to communicate with the divine and ancestral spirits.
Following this introduction, Nana B. performed special ceremonies for Mr. James Brown and Ms. Denyce Bonaparte making them a high priest and priestess, or cultural gatekeepers, in their communities. These ceremonies recognize that both persons have particular knowledge that they must share with their families and friends upon return.
For more on traditional Ghanaian spiritual worship, check out this video of Nana B. in action: