Aboakyere (Deer Hunt) Festival

Aboakyere” literally means game hunting. This popular festival celebrated on the first Saturday of May by the Chiefs and people of Winneba. The festival begins with a competitive hunt between two traditional warrior groups in a nearby game reserve, where each tries to catch a live deer. The winner presents the catch to the Paramount Chief who sits in states with the sub-Chiefs and subjects.

The deer is sacrificed as an invocation for the good harvest and a bountiful fishing season.

A durbar and procession of the Chiefs and warrior groups in their colourful regalia is the highlight of the celebrations. Brass bands, dancing, performances of folklore and parties make this an unforgettable event.

Formerly involved capturing a leopard barehanded, the toll on human life eventually became so prohibitive that the divinity to whom the leopard was sacrificed was beseeched to accept a less dangerous substitute, and the leopard was replaced by an antelope.