Kumasi’s Akweba Fertility Dolls and the Magic Sword

Written on December 21, 2007, Lixborr Hotel, Benin City, Nigeria

I had to wait until I could look in the guidebook to continue catching up the story of my travels.

In Kumasi, I somehow made it the Fosua Hotel… ah, now I remember! I astonished some of the taxi drivers at the station by simply rolling my luggage past the VanefSTC bus station gate and onto the street to the hotel. When I arrived, the lift was out of order so a couple of guys helped me cart my luggage up the six flights, well maybe it was four flights, to the plush decay of the hotel lobby. The receptionist gave me a room at the far end of the building. I settled in for a shower and to relax a bit, but kept nearly jumping out of bed each time there was a large crashing sound in the ceiling. It took awhile to figure it out, but I finally realized large birds were landing on the thin aluminum roof at twilight making loud crashing sounds as they landed. Luckily, it didn’t last all night. I snuck out of the hotel to walk over to Vic Baboo’s Cafe for dinner. I got to order some reasonable Indian food. Although there were other travelers at the Cafe, as well as some locals, I barely talked with anyone and felt a bit conspicuous eating alone. I wandered back to the hotel and crashed out early.

View From Room at Fosua Hotel, Kumasi, Ghana View From Room at Fosua Hotel, Kumasi, Ghana View From Room at Fosua Hotel, Kumasi, Ghana

The next morning, I ate breakfast in the room, then headed out to try to get a taxi to the National Cultural Center complex. Eventually, I caught a cab there. I arrived in front of a building where a ceremony involving lots of women was taking place. I asked a woman out front and she sent me over to the administration building where another woman pointed me to the women-run craft center. I bought an Akweba wood carving that is a fertility charm.

Prempeh II Statue, Prempeh II Museum, Kumasi, Ghana Sign, Prempeh II Museum, Kumasi, Ghana Talking Drums, Prempeh II Museum, Kumasi, Ghana

National Cultural Complex, Kumasi, Ghana Womens Craft Shop, National Cultural Complex, Kumasi, Ghana

Then, I walked over to the Prempeh II Museum which contains a lot of history about the Ashanti people and particularly that king, including some talking drums, the slit drum style. After the museum, I walked over to the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital where, in the courtyard near the hospital, a small museum houses a sword which has been in the ground for three centuries. According to legend, an Ashanti sorcerer drew the Golden Stool from the sky at this place. If anyone succeeds in pulling out the sword, the legend goes, the Ashanti kingdom will collapse.

Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana Sword in Ground, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana Painting of Okomfo Anokye, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana

Painting of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of Asante Kingdom, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana Wooden Sculptures, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana Bas Relief of Okomfo Anokye, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana

Carving of Asante King, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana Photograph of Asante King in Magical Garment, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana Painting of Asante King, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana

Sculpture of Okomfo Anokye Receiving the Golden Stool, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana Painting of Asante King Wearing Magical Garb, Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi, Ghana

Walking back from the hospital after unsuccessfully trying to negotiate a taxi, I met a nice fellow along the way who was on his day off from a job within the diamond industry.

Monument, Kumasi, Ghana

We stopped for a drink on the way and he invited me back to his place to meet his family, but I went back to the hotel instead. I ate lunch at a restaurant one floor below the hotel, during which I conversed with a fellow from Holland(?) off to meet some friends he had met on the Internet. I was a bit worried for him, but he didn’t seem concerned.

The Bus From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana

Next stop was Kumasi with a rather rough bus ride through terrain more tropical than I had experienced so far on the trip. Bus rides over roads pitted with potholes end up as speed racers routinely careening across the center line to avoid serious damage to vehicles or bystanders. Seatbelts in shared taxis are rarely functional, although I think in Ghana there is a law requiring the driver to wear one.

Kumasi, Ghana

Landscape on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Town on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Landscape on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana

Landscape on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Schoolchildren With Uniforms Viewed Through Bus Window, Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Original Hacks Ad on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana

Tin Shack Town on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Landscape on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Landscape on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana

Landscape on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Landscape on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Landscape on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana

Coffin Shop on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Town on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana Fast Food Joint on Road From Cape Coast to Kumasi, Ghana

I’m in Cape Coast, Ghana

My trip to Cape Coast was successful.

Landscape on Road From Accra to Cape Coast, Ghana Landscape on Road From Accra to Cape Coast, Ghana

I stayed at a nice hotel on top of a hill called the Prospect Lodge. I met a nice guy on the bus named ???. Ghana overall has much less litter than the other West African countries I’ve visited so far, due to a government campaign to get people to dispose of litter properly along with the trash pickup at least in major cities like Accra.

Cape Coast, Ghana

Cape Coast has a main street. I walked from the hotel past a statue of a crab down to the port area and then past a lagoon in search of a vegetarian restaurant called Assase Pa currently closed for renovation. Instead I ended up at the Castle Restaurant where I ate redred, a bean dish.

It was a dark and somewhat stormy night, at least in the sense of rough seas. A guy wandering on the beach, saw me and came in to sit by me in the restaurant. By now, I’ve grown suspicious of most unsolicited encounters and I was right to be suspicious of this one. After awhile, he made his pitch for 2 cedis, i.e. more than US$2! I just told him “no? and he wandered off. I walked back to the hotel to find the jeans I’d washed already quite stinky with a mold or something from the moisture.

The following day I headed off to Elmina to visit the slave fort there. On a nearby hill is Fort St. Jago (first picture below).

Fort St. Jago, Elmina, Ghana Entrance Sign to Elmina Fort, Elmina, Ghana Approaching Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Neighborhood of Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Entrance of Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Moat of Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Bridge Over Moat of Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Crest and Dedication on Exterior Wall of Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Elmina History, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Description of Dutch Trading Hall, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Elmina History, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Picture of St Georges Castle, Elmina Slave Fort Museum, Elmina, Ghana

Picture of St Georges Castle, Elmina Slave Fort Museum, Elmina, Ghana Picture of St Georges Castle, Elmina Slave Fort Museum, Elmina, Ghana Entrance to Female Slave Dungeon, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Courtyard Windows, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Barred Doors Visible From Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Barred Doors Visible From Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Cistern in Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Original Bars on Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

I Think This Shows Markings Made by Slaves on Slave Cell Floor, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Cannonball in Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Stairs From Courtyard to Wardens Lookout, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Passage From Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Stairwell Blocked in Passage From Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Slave Exit to Waiting Boats, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

View From Bottom of Passage From Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Another Doorway in Passage From Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Wreaths Laid in Memory of Slaves, Passage From Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Door of No Return, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Door of No Return, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Door of No Return, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Pondering Size of Passage From Slave Cells, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Looking Through the Door of No Return, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Probably Dutch Grave Marker, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Portuguese Chapel in Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Courtyard Entrance Above Magazine, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Courtyard Entrances to Male Slave Dungeon and Female Slave Dungeon, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Courtyard Entrance Above Magazine, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Memory Plaque, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Slave Cell for Slaves Condemned to Death by Starvation, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Slave Cell for Slaves Condemned to Death by Starvation, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Courtyard, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Exterior Upper Floor Passage, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Sea View From Upper Level Roof Terrace, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Coastal View From Upper Level Roof Terrace, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Inland View From Upper Level Roof Terrace, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Interior Courtyard View From Upper Level Roof Terrace, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Coastal View From Upper Level Roof Terrace, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Sea View From Upper Level Roof Terrace, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Interior Upper Level Corridor, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Old Cannon, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Old Sun Dial, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Old Cannon, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana View From Window of Cell of King Prempeh, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Dark Photo of Dutch Sign, Upper Level Room, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Sign for Governors Kitchen, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Governors Kitchen, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

View From Upper Level, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana View on Upper Level, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Trap Door on Upper Level, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Governors Chambers, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Governors Chambers, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana View From Governors Chambers, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

View From Governors Chambers, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana Stairwell From Governors Chambers, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Renovation of Asafo Shrines, Elmina Slave Fort Exhibit, Elmina, Ghana Renovation of Asafo Shrines, Elmina Slave Fort Exhibit, Elmina, Ghana Renovation of Dutch Cemetery, Elmina Slave Fort Exhibit, Elmina, Ghana

View Onto Balcony, Elmina Slave Fort, Elmina, Ghana

Then I returned to Cape Coast to visit another slave fort, where i met some friendly travelers.

Sign for Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Entrance to Male Slave Dungeon, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Male Slave Dungeon, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Grave, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Probably Cistern, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Courtyard, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Courtyard, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Courtyard, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Courtyard, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Courtyard, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Cannon, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Cannon and Cannonballs, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Cannons, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Slave Dungeon, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana I Do Not Remember What This Is, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Slave Dungeon, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Slave Dungeon, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Door of No Return, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Door of No Return, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Door of No Return, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana View Outside Door of No Return, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Courtyard, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Cell, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Open Cell With Wreaths, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Marks Made by Slave Prisoners on Cell Floor, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Courtyard, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Entrance to Male Slave Dungeon, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

Male Slave Dungeon, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana

The forts are quite understandably run-down yet the history of slavery there is quite palpable, the horrific role of the colonizers as inescapable as the slave forts themselves. The museums, especially at Cape Coast, were also impressive.

Museum, Cape Coast Slave Fort, Cape Coast, Ghana Cape Coast History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Swedish Lodge Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Fort Carolusburg Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana View of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Description of England Trading in Africa, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Engravings of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Description of the Royal African Company, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Engraving of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Engravings of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Cape Coast History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Cape Coast History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Cape Coast History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Cape Coast Ground Plan, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ancient Masonry Materials, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Label for Ancient Masonry Materials, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Iron Mongery, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Lithograph of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Engraving of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Cape Coast History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Construction Materials Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Construction Materials Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Engraving of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Engraving of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Engraving of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Excavations Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Photograph of Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

The First Ghanaians Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Engraving, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Iron Techonology Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Blurry Iron Ore, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Iron Mongery, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Komaland Koma-Bulsa Figurines Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Komaland Koma-Bulsa Figurines, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Komaland Koma-Bulsa Figurines, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Komaland Koma-Bulsa Figurines, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Komaland Koma-Bulsa Figurines, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Gold Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Gold Panning Engraving, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana Gold Weights and Implements Drawings, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Gold Weights and Measures, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Gold Weights and Measures, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana Gold Weights and Measures, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Gold Weights and Measures, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Gold Lost-Wax Process Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Akan Brass Forowa and Kuduo Containers for Gold, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Label for Akan Brass Forowa and Kuduo Containers for Gold, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Gold Forging Drawing, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana Gold Mining Drawing, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Trading Drawing, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Trading Drawing, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Portuguese in Ghana History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Portuguese in Ghana Drawing, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Europeans in Ghana History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Europeans in Ghana Drawing, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana European Weapons in Ghana, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Cape Coast and Elmina History Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana Forts and Castles Map, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Forts and Castles Map, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Slave Trade Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Europeans in Ghana Legacy Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Drawing of Chained Slaves, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Slave Shackles, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Drawing of Slaves and Traders, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Triangle Trade Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Atlantic Trade Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Atlantic Trade Map, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Atlantic Trade Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Drawing of Middle Passage of Slaves in Boat, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Drawing of Middle Passage of Slaves on Boat, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Drawing of Middle Passage of Slaves in Boat, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Conditions of Slavery Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Drawing of Middle Passage of Slaves in Boat, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Slave Shackles, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Slave Auction Block Description and Drawing, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

African Slave Diaspora Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana African Slave Family Tree Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana African Slave Lynching Drawing, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Photograph of African Slave After Lashings, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Label for Photograph of African Slave After Lashings, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Slave Struggle for Freedom Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Photograph of Kwame Nkrumah, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Photograph of African Independce Leaders, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Marcus Garvey Africa Redemption Quotation, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Marcus Garvey Africa Redemption Quotation, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Central Region Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Central Region Map, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana Central Region Family Life Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Clan Staffs and Stools Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Clan Staffs, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana Akan Pottery Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana Akan Pottery, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Word Carvings, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Birth and Outdooring Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akuaba or Akweba Doll and Other Wood Carvings, Cape Coast Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Funerary Pottery Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Funerary Pottery, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Adinkra Cloth Stamps, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Adinkra Cloth Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Probably Funerary Pottery, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Probably Funerary Pottery, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Probably Funerary Pottery, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Funerals Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Asafo Military Company, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Asafo Military Company Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Akan Ompe Drums, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Entertainment Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Chief Gold and Gold-Leaf Regalia, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Akan Chief Gold and Gold-Leaf Regalia, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Chieftancy Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Drums, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Akan Saying That When the Elephant Treads on a Trap It Does Not Spring, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Chiefs Stool and Regalia, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Chiefs Chair of State and Umbrella, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Akan Chiefs Bed, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Royal Court Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Akan Linguists Okyeame Staff, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

Akan Queen Mother Description, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Picture of Akan Royal Family, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana Picture of Akan Royal Family, Cape Coast Slave Fort Museum, Cape Coast, Ghana

On to Kumasi…

Accra Tour of National Museum, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial, and Lighthouse

It was a total drama getting the taxi driver to find the Millennium Guest House, located in a well-known cathedral compound, but perhaps it is a game the drivers play to try to get paid more. I am beginning to wonder, since it happened quite often.

Glow-in-the-Dark Jesus in Hotel Room, Millennium Guesthouse, Accra, Ghana Full-Color Jesus in Hotel Room, Millennium Guesthouse, Accra, Ghana
I had to wake the security guy at the hotel to enter, since the flight had arrived quite late and my baggage search took awhile. But finally I succeeded in laying down my head to rest on the comfortable bed in the modest room furnished with a bible, a TV, and a glow-in-the-dark Jesus, as well as a much-appreciated air conditioner and a shared bath/shower.

Accra, Ghana

The next morning, I visited the National Museum, a short walk from the guesthouse. The woman taking tickets at the front entrance helped me buy a SIM card even though it was Sunday. I met a Czech guy working in Belgium who was on a trip related to encouraging and financing sport events on behalf of the European Union. Michal Krejza and I finished at the museum by trying to locate the linguists’ staffs.

National Museum, Accra, Ghana Entrance to National Museum, Accra, Ghana Bark Cloth, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Adinkra Cloth Patterns, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Adinkra Cloth Symbols, National Museum, Accra, Ghana More Adinkra Cloth Symbols, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Mamprusi Chief in Northern Wardress, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Wardress Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Wardress, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Patterned Cloth, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akan Spider Stool, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akan Spider Stool Label, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Akan Elephant Stool, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akan Elephant Stool Label, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Burkina Faso Stool, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Three-Legged Stool, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Stool Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Ritual Stool, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Ritual Stool Label, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Living Figures Wooden Art Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Akwaba Doll, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of Akwaba Doll, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Ga Wooden Figure, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Terra Cotta Head, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Detail of Terra Cotta Head, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akan Mother and Child Figure, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akan Mother and Child Figure Label, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Bakongo Konde Nkisi Ritual Figure, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Bakongo Konde Nkisi Ritual Figure Label, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Traditional Priestess, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of Asante Tano River Shrine, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Ritual Dolls Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Ritual Dolls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Large Ritual Doll, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Ritual Dolls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Ritual Dolls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Ritual Dolls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana A Skin Apron, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Quiver With Arrows, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Hunters Belt, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Musical Instruments, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Musical Instruments Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Congo Talking Drum, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akan Ceramic Ceremonial Pot Abusua, Kuruwa, Asamankes, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akan Ceramic Ceremonial Pot Abusua, Kuruwa, Kwahu, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Akan Ceramic Ceremonial Pot Abusua, Kuruwa, Bono, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Akan Ceramic Ceremonial Pot Abusua, Asante, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of Girls Initiated Into Bakafor Rite, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Picture of Girls Initiated Into Bakafor Rite, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Dipo Initiation Rites for Girls Among the Krobo at Odumasi, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of an Old Woman Initiating an Ashanti / Asante Girl, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Girl During Her Initiation in Zambia, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Puberty Dance by Shai Girls, National Musem, Accra, Ghana

Label for Picture of Puberty Dance by Shai Girls, National Musem, Accra, Ghana Picture of Queen Mother Initiating Children Into Bakafor Rite, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Picture of Queen Mother Initiating Children Into Bakafor Rite, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of Otofo Initiation Rites for Girls Among the Ga, National Musem, Accra, Ghana

The museum had excellent exhibits from a variety of west African countries, as well as a section on the slave trade, but I couldn’t find the linguist staffs mentioned in the guidebook. Turns out the staffs got entombed inside a wall when one other exhibit was updated, so it wasn’t possible to see them.

Slave Route Map, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Ghana Slave Traffic Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Map of West Africa in 17th and 18th Centuries, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Blurry Description of Traveling the Slave Routes, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Slave Markets Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Map of Slave Routes and Slave Sites, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Blurry Description of Sources of Slaves, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Blurry Picture of Slave Raiders Defense Wall, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Blurry Label for Picture of Slave Raiders Defense Wall, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of Grave of Notorious Slave Raider Babo Ato, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Picture of Grave of Notorious Slave Raider Babo Ato, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Slave Raider Samory Toure, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Label for Picture of Slave Raider Samory Toure, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Slave Trade Weapons Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Slave Tree, Baobab, Saakpuli, Ghana, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Label for Picture of Slave Tree, Baobab, Saakpuli, Ghana, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Grinding Grooves and Slave Bowls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Picture of Grinding Grooves and Slave Bowls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of Slave Market at Baobab Tree in Salaga Circa 1888, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Picture of Slave Market at Baobab Tree in Salaga Circa 1888, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Slave Cistern at Salaga, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Label for Picture of Slave Cistern at Salaga, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Cowries and Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Beads and Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Gold and Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Kola Nuts and Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Tobacco and Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Forts and Castles Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Elmina Castle Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Engraving of Elmina Castle, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Cape Coast Castle Description, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Cape Coast Castle Engraving, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Fort St. Jago in Elmina, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Description of Fort St. Jago in Elmina, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Fort St. Sebastian in Shama, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Description of Fort St. Sebastian in Shama, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of Slave Dungeon, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Picture of Slave Dungeon, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Slave Door of No Return, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Label for Picture of Slave Door of No Return, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture Demonstrating Slaves Shackled to Trees in Salaga Market, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Picture Demonstrating Slaves Shackled to Trees in Salaga Market, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Description of Types of Slave Shackles, National Museum, Accra, Ghana VariousTypes of Slave Shackles, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Blurry Picture of Slave River, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Blurry Label for Picture of Slave River, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Slave Cave, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Picture of Slave Cave, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Brass Forowa Shea Butter Container, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Brass Ashanti Asante Gold Weights in Chameleon Shape, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Brass Kuduo Vessel, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Probably Brass Kuduo Vessel, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Blurry Label for Brass Ashanti Asante Gold Weights, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Blurry Brass Ashanti Asante Gold Weights, National Museum, Accra, Ghana
Slave Branding Iron, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Scale Used by Ashanti Asante Goldsmith to Weigh Gold Dust, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Brass or Gold Objects, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Two Figures of Sasabosam Forest Monster, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Interesting Figure, Probably Brass, National Museum, Accra, Ghaan Description of Traditional Wood Carving, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Traditional Iron Making, Blacksmith and Forge, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Traditional Iron Making, Blacksmith and Forge, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Traditional Iron Making, Various Implements, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Traditional Iron Making, Various Implements, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Description of Functional or Utilitarian Dolls, Akuaba or Akweba Dolls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akuaba or Akweba Dolls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Traditional Ghana Textiles Exhibit, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Label for Traditional Akpedo Novie Cloth, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Traditional Akpedo Novie Cloth, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Detailed Chart of Ghana Kente Cloth Types, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of War Costume Laden With Charms and Amulets, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Snake Charmer, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Picture of Traditional Dancers at Feok Festival in Sandema, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Picture of Grushie Person and Cult of Piercing Instruments, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Wooden Sculpture of Man Playing Talking Drum, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Description of Feok Dance, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Description of Agbadza Dance, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Description of Kpalogo Dance, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Blurry Chopped Description of Asafo Warrior Organization, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Description of Adowa Dance, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Plaster Cast of Three Kuba Kings From Zaire Now Congo, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Necklace of Human Teeth From Democratic Republic of Congo, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Necklace of Animal Teeth From Democratic Republic of Congo, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Dance Amulet From Bushongo Zaire Now Congo, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Brass Neck Ring, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Brass Mash of Crocodile, Probably From Benin, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Brass Giraffe From Benin, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Carved and Painted Figures From Abomey, Benin, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Grotesque Wooden Mask From Benin, National Museum, Accra, Ghaan Dead Twin Figure Known as Dalieru Dan, Isali Dialect, Sissala People of Tumu, Upper West Region, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Wood Carving of Grandmother on Stool, Ashanti Asante Region, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Description of Akuaba or Akweba Dolls, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akuaba or Akweba Doll, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Akuaba or Akweba Doll, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Akuaba or Akweba Doll, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Chairs of State, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Clay Heads and Figures From Cape Coast and Elsewhere, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

I found the 13th to 19th century figures from Komaland (pictured below) especially intriguing.

Terra Cotta Janus Head Warrior, Komaland, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Description of Komaland Excavations, National Museum, Accra, Ghana Terra Cotta Double Janus Head, Komaland, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Terra Cotta Winged Warrior, Komaland, National Museum, Accra, Ghana

Michal and I walked past banks where I tried to withdraw cash using Visa cards at ATMs without success. We made it to the Kwame Nkrumah memorial and museum which was very interesting. Nkrumah, the first president of the first colonial African country to gain its independence, was a pan-Africanist and published some rather radical books. Perhaps that is why a military coup toppled his government and sent him into exile in Guinée. He married an Egyptian woman and both of their remains are now at the memorial.

Next we walked, then taxi’ed to the lighthouse near the Fort James shanty town. Michal bargained for us to enter at half the price the little girl who met us had demanded, then an adult man led us past the ancient generator and the rusting spiral staircase to where the light once shone and will apparently shine again if a planned renovation takes place. I was terrified by the rickety ladder to the top and the minimalist railing, although the view was impressive. I descended before the guy had a chance to also ask me for more money, although he couldn’t resist once we were getting back into our taxi.

I purchased a half dozen oranges for about 20 cents. We tried to eat lunch at a place closed on Sunday, as was the second place we tried, so finally we ended up at the Hotel Paloma Restaurant, where I tried palaver, a traditional dish of spinach and other vegetables and spices. It was delicious, even though I discovered a fish bone in it. We went our separate ways after a delightful discussion, including the topic of the white slave trade. I crashed at the hotel and left the next morning for the Nigerian High Commission office where I successfully applied for a visa after keeping a taxi on hir to go get photocopies. It wasn’t easy, but they accepted the application with a US$100 fee and I then left for a two-day trip to Cape Coast.

Snafus on the Way to Accra

I boarded the Air Senegal flight in Bamako worried because it left late for Abidjan. That meant that I and several other guys missed our onward flight to Accra on Air Emirates. The following Emirates flight to Accra was in two days! So I opted to purchase an Air Ivoire ticket (because they wouldn’t accept the Emirates ticket) and to seek a refund for the Emirates flight later on. I ended up spending the night on Air Senegal’s dime at the airport hotel in Abidjan. The Abidjan airport is quite nice and modern. I met a couple of women there, as well as a creepy guy who tried to scam me as I was eating my dinner, also paid by Air Senegal, as was breakfast the next morning. I actually managed to get a lot of work done on the book since I had no distractions in the airport hotel, then during the eight hours after checking out and before the departure of the Air Ivoire flight.

I felt quite triumphant boarding that flight, despite a nasty airline employee who told me that the yellow rice sack I used to carry my excess luggage was not aesthetique (esthetic). She forced me to pay to have the sack wrapped in plastic and check it in rather than carry it on. OK, so I finally arrived in Accra and – guess what? — my bag checked in at Bamako hadn’t made it to Accra, despite several possible flights on which it could be sent.

After getting the runaround between three different lost luggage counters, I managed to file a report. I also noted the sign on the way to baggage claim that said (paraphrased): “Pedophiles and other sexual deviants are not welcome in Ghana. If you have come here to engage in such activities, please leave.? I felt warm and welcome all over, especially since I had heard recently from Andre about the Ghana government arresting a British citizen who was found with pictures of him having sex with a man in Ghana – who was apparently also arrested. The more I think about it, the more it seems like a sting operation or an attempt at extortion. This, and a prior incident in Dakar left me feeling not at all sexy, and I remained that way, except for fantasies about foreign travellers, even until today.