African Trumpet Edition 25_AFRITRUMPET NEW UK 1/17/2012 10:21 AM Page 11
Africantrumpet-The voice of Africans
OUTDOORING CEREMONIES WELCOME NEW BABIES IN NEW YORK
offered to ask for blessings of the child's family and Prayers for the child to be obedient, truthful and respectful. The child's name is then announced to the gathering after which corn wine is served and gifts are presented to the child. The ceremony ends with feasting and merry making.
These days, formal educa- tion, christian and Islamic religion have influenced greatly in the performance of naming ceremonies.
Child Naming Ceremonies in Ghana
Naming and outdooring cer- emonies are celebrated in most Ghanaian communities in Ghana and abroad. It is called a naming ceremony because it is the first day the child is given a name and it is also called an outdooring ceremony because it is the first time the child is taken out of doors.
Different ethnic groups have different names for naming and outdooring ceremonies. Among the Akans, it is known as Abadinto or Dzinto, to the Ewes it is called Vihehedego, the Gas call it Kpodziemo and the Dagaris call it Sunna.
In some communities, the baby is not taken out for some days when it is born. This is because they to know
keep it indoors to see if it can survive the many dan- gers it will be facing after birth. During this time, the baby is regarded as a stranger or a visitor.
The day for naming the child differs from community to community. Among the Akans, it takes place on the eighth day whiles it takes place in the Northern and Upper Regions on the 3rd and 4th day for boys and girls respectively.
The choice of names and the procedures involved differs from the ethnic groups. For example, among the Akans, the child is given the first name on the day which he or she was born. For example, Ama and Kwame for a girl and a boy respectively, born
on a Saturday. Some ethnic groups also consult their cults to name their children. An example of such ethnic group is the Anlo. Some children are also named due to some circum- stances. Example, Anto or Antobam in Akan for a child whose father dies before it is born. Awia or Kawia is also for a child born on a sunny day, this is among the Kasenas. Sometimes,in the Northern and Upper Regions, a diviner is consulted.
These days, the water is sprinkled onto the child with- out being put on the rooftop. The child is then given then given some Wine to taste. A final libation which is known as outdooring prayer is poured. This libation is
Babies are no longer kept in the house . They are born in hospitals, clinics, and health centers. Some therefore spend more days in these places mentioned above and therefore the naming cere- mony does not take place On the eighth, third and fourth days. Water trickling from the rooftop with the child naked is not practised again.
Also, alcoholic drinks such as schnapps, gin and palmwine for wetting the Baby's lips have been replaced with soft drinks such as fanta and coca cola.
Naming ceremonies have also turned to be big social occasions which now take place after the eighth day and in addition to traditional names given to them, reli- gious and European names are also given to children. Naming ceremonies are con- sidered important in our Ghanaian communities because it identifies the baby
as an individual.
Naming ceremonies also mark the beginning of the laying of the foundation for good morals and values such as truthfulness. Even though the child cannot talk and understand whatever goes around him, he is taught to be truthful and this is seen in the water and the wine or gin given to him to taste.
The child is also named after Courtesy 3gmediaonline.com
we bring you some pictures of 3 outdooring ceremonies recently held in New York
someone or an ancestor with good character and it is expected that when the child grows, he will be like the per- son he was named after.
In recent times outdooring ceremonies sometimes are also organized to introduce children who have joined their parents from Ghana.
Main source for article: Deborah Ama Duker
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