The Aboakyir Festival, also known as the Deer Hunting Festival, is
celebrated by the people of Effutu in the Central Region of Ghana. The
name “Aboakyir” translates as “Animal Hunt” in the Fante dialect.
Two Asafo groups embark on the hunt; that is, the Tuafo Asafo No. 1
Group, and the Dentsifo Asafo No. 2 Group. Undisputed history on the
festival indicate that, it has gone through several transitions – from
the sacrifice of a human being from the royal family, to sacrificing a
live leopard, and presently, a deer after the first two forms of
sacrifices to the gods encountered unbearable challenges.
The hunting for the deer is done on the First Saturday of the month of
May in every year. The week within which the Saturday falls, is marked
by daily activities.
For instance, on the Tuesday, the town folks converge at the seashore to
engage in a number of activities, such as canoe racing, tug of peace,
The Thursday and Friday are marked by carrying some of the deities and
roaming through the principal streets of Winneba, to cleanse it and also
uproot any “juju” (Vudoo), implanted by evil people in the town to
prevent any ominous happenings.
After a successful catch on Saturday, Sunday is a special day to
thank God for a successful celebration. Arguably, the Aboakyir Festival
is one of the highly recognized and patronized festivals by tourist
across Africa and the globe.
However, as a result of the deadly COVID-19, and the global
precautionary directives it comes with, the 2020 edition, just as every
other festival in Ghana, is suspended until further notice.