There are about 30 girls walking around the drummers at this time.
We drove four hours over bumpy, red, dusty roads to get to the village where our friends (Wes and Charity) used to live (they moved to the city of Tamale a year and a half ago), then a bunch of us piled into the back of the truck for another fifteen minute drive to the village where the wedding was going to take place.
When we arrived, we walked over to a large field where they had set up some benches with a dried-grass canopy overtop. There was one set of benches and canopies, then a large open space, and then another set of benches and canopies. One side was for the grooms family, the other for the brides.
While waiting for the ceremony to commence, there were some guys drumming and a circle of girls walking/dancing around them singing. It was burning hot and I watched in amazement as they continued walking/dancing for a long time. It was pretty crazy.
The best man, groom, the groom’s father, and the paid drummers who drum on talking drums.
After a while we headed over to the groom’s compound with Wes and sat outside on their ‘couch’ which is a bunch of logs about eight inches thick sitting on a platform, all the sides open and a dried-grass roof. It’s probably about fifteen feet long and eight feet wide.
The Ghanian’s are a very, very respectful and honoring people. When greeting someone, it’s customary to bend over or squat down to show respect. They also have quite the long greetings with questions like “How are you doing? How is your husband? How are your animals? How was your sleep?” even to complete strangers. The correct response is to say Naaaaaa after each question, which pretty much means “I received your greeting.”
Another thing they do is, if you want to show extra respect to someone, you don’t talk directly to them. Wes wanted to tell the father of the groom something about the wedding, so he quietly said it to the man next to him, and that man went over and quietly said it to another man, who then went over and told it to the father. Wes was only about five feet away from the groom’s father in the first place.
After waiting for a while, the brides family was ready and so we girls got ready to take pictures of the procession. (The people were excited at the thought of having pictures of the happy event, so we girls joked with each other that we were international wedding photographers.)
A lot of the bride’s friends walked/danced and sang in front of the truck carrying the bride and her family. Some of the girls were even carrying wedding gifts on their heads. It was a beautiful sight. It’s the dry season there right now, so almost everything was brown and red. The extremely colorful clothing was such a wonderful splash of brightness.
Since Wes had his truck in the village, he took the bride and her family from the compound they were staying in to where the wedding was taking place. As you can see, they were piled in.