Africa not only has a great history behind it as a continent but also has many inhabitants in it. The continent’s diversity comprises of various ethnic groups that have different cultures and history. Most historians are still striving to uncover some of these ethnic groups’ history. Here, we are going to look at the Ewe people and try to understand who they were through their history and origin.
Who are the Ewe People?
The Ewe people are an ethnic group in the western part of the African continent. The biggest population of Ewe people is in the state of Ghana followed by Togo. They are about 2 million in Togo and over 3 million in Ghana. The Ewe people speak the Ewe languages and they are in relation to the Fon, Gen, Phera, and the Aja group of Benin.
There are more than 1 different schools of thought concerning the origin of the Ewe ethnic group. There is a particular school of thought locating the origin at a settlement in Adzatome. Adzatome is a suburb in which Ham, the 2nd son of Noah, founded. It’s here that we learned about the Biblical story of the establishment of the Babel tower to enable the people to get closer to the Supreme being. People credit this story as being the origin of the Ewe language.
Settlement in Egypt
According to oral traditions, Gu, an ancestor, led the Ewe people under whose leadership they settled in Egypt. The Jews also settled in the land of Egypt. There were cultural exchanges among different people, with people copying the way of things of other people with whom they lived closer. Some traditional practices which the Ewes adopted from the Egyptians are circumcision of males and pouring of libation. They also learned the making of very long songs from the ethnic group of the Jews.
Settlement in Sudan
When it became a challenge living in the land of Egypt, the Ewes left Egypt under a particular head and moved into Sudan. They established a settlement close to Khartoum. The stay there was not long because of famine, slave raids, and severe drought. At the time, there were various learning institutions around Khartoum and some Ewe people took the opportunity of these institutions to evolve into scholars.
The Ewe Chiefdom and the May 1956 Plebiscite
The Ewe people are patrilineal. The originator of a community became the chief, and his paternal relatives would succeed him. The biggest self-governing political unit was a chiefdom. Chiefdoms ranged in the number of people from a few 100 people to several 1000s of people. There was no Ewe chiefdom that gained a dominating power over its fellow neighbor. The rise of Ewe independence in Togo and the land of Ghana was more of a reaction to the 1956 referendum that divided Ewe land between Togo and the Gold Coast.
The National Flag of the Ewe Ethnic Group
An ethnic flag is a flag that represents a particular ethnic group. People introduce ethnic flags to the ethnic community via cultural ethnic associations. In several instances, they have ancient origins. They’re very common among ethnic sub-groups and some ethnic masses. The central government may choose to either recognize or acknowledge an ethnic flag or not. The central government of states has prohibited some of the ethnic flags.
The Ewe Dances
The Ewe people have a collection of dances that differ between geographic areas and other issues. The Adevu dance celebrates the hunters. It makes animals easier to pursue or hunt. The Agbadza dance is customarily a war dance, but as of today, people use it in recreational circumstances to celebrate tranquility.
The dance of Atsia in which the women perform mostly is a sequence of stylistic movements in which the lead drummer commands the dancers. Each dance step has its recommended rhythmic pattern that is in synchronization with the main drum.
Gbedzimido is a war dance in which the group of Mafi-Gborkofe and Amegakope perform. The dance has changed into modern dance and people see it only at vital events such as the Asafotu festival. Dancers perform the dance at funerals of highly-put people in the society.