Awerekyekyer

Women sit in rows of desks at an Awerekyekyer meeting in Anomabu
Awerekyekyer meeting in Anomabu

Awerekyekyer is an ecumenical Christian organization founded in the coastal Ghanaian city of Tema in the early 1980s.

Four Officers of Anomabu's Awerekyekyer Branch sit at a table in front of a chalkboard, all on one side behind a banner
The Officers of Anomabu’s Awerekyekyer Branch

While I was in Ghana, a branch of this organization–the ninth–was inaugurated in Anomabu. Membership in the Anomabu branch numbered approximately 150 in 1993, its founding year. One of the main functions of the Awerekyekyer organization is to provide live music for Christian wakes and funerals.

Singing during an Awerekyekyer meeting in Anomabu while sitting in double desks in a row
Singing during an Awerekyekyer meeting in Anomabu

At the group’s weekly meetings, a good share of the time is spent running through their musical repertoire.

The Dondo and Congo players at the Awerekyekyer meeting
The dondo player at the Awerekyekyer meeting

Music is learned by rote and organized in a call-response pattern with light drumming (on dondo and conga) and a bell providing a popular dance beat (highlife) pattern.

 

 

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