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The Ga People

The Ga people are found mainly in the south-eastern coastal region of Ghana in West Africa. There are about 600,000 Ga speakers, making up about 3.4% of Ghana's population. Because the Ga share a similar history and a related language to that of the Adangme people (also known as Adangbe, Dangbe and Dangme) which distinguish them from Ghana's more populous Akan people, they are often grouped with the Adangme and collectively refered to as the Ga-Adangme people.

Most Ga live in and around the capital of Accra, though they can be found in each of Ghana's ten regions. Accra was founded by the Ga people in the 1500s. The word Accra is derived from the word Nkran meaning "ants" in Akan, a reference to the numerous anthills seen in the countryside around Accra. During part of its history, Accra served as a centre for trade with the Portuguese, who built a fort in the town, followed by the Swedish, Dutch, French, British and Danish by the end of the seventeenth century. The traditional Ga kingdom of Nkran gives Accra its name. Nkran state has been ruled by a succession of kings known as Ga Mantse since its founding in 1510.

The land of the Ga people stretches from the coast of Ghana from their capital at Accra which is also the capital of Ghana northwards to the foot of the Akwapim Hills. It is bordered on the west by the river Densu and its eastern boundary is the township of Kpone. The Ga have six traditional towns: Ga Mashi (Central Accra), Osu (Christiansborg), La (Labadi), Teshi (Teshie), Nungua and Tema. Each of these towns has several villages founded by Ga farmers, hunters and fishermen.

The primary Ga festival is called Homowo, which literally means "hooting at hunger". This festival originated several centuries ago after a great famine in Ga land. The passing of this terrible period was marked by celebrating this festival. It takes place every year and is celebrated by all the Ga clans, but in stages by the various groups and "quarters", beginning with Ga Mashie and ending with La.

The Ga are no different from the other tribes in Ghana in their love for music, drumming and dancing. One of their best known traditional music and dance styles (albeit a fairly modern one) is kpanlogo, a modernized traditional dance and music form developed around 1960.

Related Links
Ga Day Names
Ga Mantse
Homowo Festival
Traditional Towns