The Country of Ghana

Ghana is a country not only home to a rich cultural heritage, but one which is steeped in history and blessed with exceptional natural resources.

Located on the gulf of guinea, along the Atlantic coast of west Africa, Ghana was a popular destination for European traders dating back to the 15th century – evidence still exists in the many castles dotted along the countries' coast. A beacon for the rest of the continent, a visionary named Dr. Kwame Nkrumah led the gold coast out of colonization to become an independent nation in 1957; the first independent country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Assisting in the progress of the country, home to approximately 20 million people, is the wealth of natural resources, including gold and diamonds, cocoa, timber, bauxite, the Volta river, and miles of beaches along the Atlantic coast.

The climate of Ghana is tropical, i.e., Hot. Temperatures are consistent throughout the year in the +21C to +38C range with high humidity in the southern parts and very dry air in the north. There is a rainy season during the months of April – June. Religions include Christianity, Islam and traditional African religions. The government is a constitutional democracy and the current president is professor John Atta Mills.

Northern Region

Northern Ghana is home to the Dagbamba people. Two main types of drums are found here, namely the lunga (talking drum) and the gungon or brekete (snared bass drum). Both drums are held under the arm and played with a curved wooden stick. Dance styles may be done individually or in a group as the lunga drum praises your family or provides worldly advice in the form of proverbs.

Greater Accra Region

The African Skies tour will introduce participants to three of these unique styles: kpanlogo drumming of the Ga people, whose traditional home in the Greater Accra Region is an excellent starting point for a visit to this country. Kpanlogo is a vibrant music and dance, performed at many different occasions. The drums are similar to a conga, with a hide held onto the drum with wooden pegs.

Volta Region

The music and dance of the Ewe people of the Volta region is equally exciting, and incorporates complex polyrhythms into a chorus of different sized drums, played with either the hands, sticks or a combination of the two. Percussion instruments such as the gankogui (double bell) and axatse (gourd rattle) are predominant in this musical genre.