Today we meet the beautiful Anlos, who are located in the coastal areas of the South-eastern corner of Ghana. They are a hardworking people belonging to the wider Ewe ethnic group that spreads across three nations towards the east: Togo, Benin, and parts of Nigeria. They place a lot emphasis on education, family life, and religion, and are also well-known for their rich culture, especially music, poetry, dance and drumming.
Located in the south-eastern corner of Ghana are the Anlo-Ewe people who are believed to have migrated from Ketu in present-day Benin Republic (or formerly Dahomey) and then fled later westwards from a particularly wicked and brutal ruler, king Agorkorli, at Notsie in present-day Republic of Togo around the 1400’s. They then settled in the south-eastern coastal parts of what is currently named the Volta Region of Ghana. The Anlo-Ewes have been impacted in various ways by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, with a slave fort built in the most prominent commercial settlement called Keta. Some moved a few miles inland, partly due to the slave trade, and settled into some island and lagoon towns and villages.
In addition to their reputation for hard work and industry, through fishing, some farming and trading, the Anlo-Ewes are also well-known for their love and pursuit of education, focus on community, weaving of a specific type of the Ghana national cloth “kente” (known locally as “kete”) plus great cultural displays through drumming and dancing. Though Western influences such as Christianity and education have sought to frown on many cultural practices, several elements of the culture have endured. Some of the dances like the Adzogbo and Atsiagbekor are reenactments of war practices and dances, with a lot of synchronized choreography that is a delight to watch. Some of the dances or dance groups are connected to traditional African beliefs.
While polygamy has been important in this culture, a large number of men only have one wife, largely due to the influences of western education and Christianity. Today we share with you some pictures, showing some aspects of this rich culture. The current Chief of the Anlo-Ewes is the Awoamefia Togbi Sri III.
All images taken from Wikimedia Commons.
Please note that this article was reconstructed with the help of Ben Dotsei Malor and an earlier version published in March has since been taken down after a review.