Various forms of traditional drumming, music and dancing continued to characterise the burial rites of the late Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi yesterday.
It was the third and final day of the lying-in-state of the late queen mother, who would be buried today at the Breman Mausoleum (Ban mu) after a two-hour church service by the Anglican Church in the morning.
Yesterday’s burial rites witnessed a number of dignitaries, including the Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye and the former President, Mr John Dramani Mahama who were at the palace to pay their last respects to the queen mother who was going to the “village.”
When it was announced that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife, Samira had arrived at the grounds at 3:30p.m., the crowd surged forward and wanted to catch a glimpse of them.
The Vice-President and his wife filed past the remains of the Asantehemaa before taking their seats on the dais. They later went to pay homage to the Asantehene who was sitting in state.
Various ethnic groups from all parts of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria hit the ground with attractive performances.
Apart from the Ashanti brand of traditional displays, there were different forms of traditional displays from the Gonjas, Ewes and Yoruba community in Ghana.
Spiritualists from the Zagbetor shrine in Aflao in the Volta region put up displays that mesmerised mourners. Many people were attracted to their stand because there was the belief that there were spirits controlling the mascots that were on display and that they could turn stones into yam.
Among the traditional rulers at Manhyia on Wednesday were the President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Nana Soglo Alloh IV, the Krachiwura, Nana Prah Besemuna III, Togbe Gbogbolutu III from the Vakpo Traditional Area and Togbe Amenya Fi fi IV from the Aflao Traditional Area.
The Abudu Royal Family from Yendi, Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto from the Bechem Traditional Area, Nana Appiah Dwaa from Hwediem were also at the palace to mourn with Asanteman.
Also at the palace were the Kongwura, Jinkurira from the Gonja Traditional Area, the Techiman Paramount Chief, Oseadeeyo Agyemang Akumfi Ameyaw IV and the Yoruba Community in Ghana, led by Alhaji Musah Baba.
Each of the groups brought along a number of traditional dancers whose displays were an attraction to mourners who had filled the grounds.
Their warriors also carried different types of guns to show their might and occasionally fired muskets that sent people running to take cover.
Former President Mahama was also at the palace to pay his last respects. He arrived at 12:50p.m. together with the former Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Nii Lante Vanderpuije, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, Dr Oteng Adjei and Dr Kwame Ampofo.
After filing past the remains of the queenmother as a way of paying their last respects, they sat on the dais, waited for the Asantehene to sit in state and thereafter went to greet him.
After about an hour and half on the grounds, former President Mahama and the NDC delegation left . This was before the Vice-President and his entourage arrived.
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