A visit to a traditional shrine is part of our completely arranged Ashanti tour. But what is a traditional shrine, why is a visit to a shrine worthwhile and which shrines in the area of Moon&Star guesthouse can you visit? The answers to these questions and directions (with local transportation) to the traditional shrines can be found in this blog.
Shrines are traditional sacred buildings
According to Unesco, traditional shrines are ‘the last material remains of the great Ashanti civilization’. The traditional sacred buildings, also called shrine or Abosomfie, date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By visiting a shrine, travellers can discover a more mysterious side of the Ashanti tradition. In some cases the shrines are still occupied by a priest, but in each shrine tourists are welcome. The traditional belief still plays an important role in Ghanaian culture, also in modern Ghana.
If you are staying at Moon&Star guesthouse and are interested in this part of the Ghanaian culture, I encourage you to ask your questions to team Moon&Star.
The shrine in Besease dates from the year 1850, and was completely restored in 1998. This building gives an idea of what Kumasi must have looked like in the past. The shrine in Besease is one of the most famous shrines for tourists, but is not really in use anymore.
From the main junction in Banko you can take a shared car to Effiduase, from there you can take a shared car to Ejisu, or any tro tro that heads towards Kumasi where you alight in Ejisu. From the roundabout in Ejisu take a taxi or tro tro that takes the Accra road.After 2.5km you get off at the turnoff on the right, where you will see the shrine after 200 meters.
The old traditional shrine in Bodwease is impressive in its architecture and inside you’ll find a beautiful collection of relics such as old drums, fertility dolls, beaded necklaces and animal bones. The shrine is actually part of the chief’s palace. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of Schnapps when you visit this shrine. The caretaker is happy to receive tourists and likes to share his knowledge. It is helpful to bring someone who speaks the local language, Twi. Our team members will be happy to guide you!
From the junction in Banko take a shared car to Effiduase. From Effiduase you can take a shared car to Bodwease.
Atia Kusia Kwame:
The shrine is located in the village of Edwenase and dates from the nineteenth century. Since the last priest died this shrine is not active anymore. Tourists can visit the shrine, but the caretaker is not well prepared.
From the junction in Banko you go to Effiduase with a shared car. Here you take a shared vehicle to Ejisu, or a trotro towards Kumasi where you alight in Ejisu. From the roundabout in Ejisu follow the Kuntanase road with a tro tro or taxi. About 6km out of town you come to a village called Omwe where you disembark. Here you turn left at the junction, you can walk or take a taxi. After about 2km you reach Edwinase, the shrine is on your lefthand side.
The shrine is located on the Kumasi-Accra road. Inside are beautiful walls and countless relics dating back to the time when the last priest still worked here.
From the junction in Banko you go by shared car to Effiduase. From here you take a shared taxi or tro tro that heads towards Kumasi. About 4 km after Ejisu you get off at a junction where there is a dirt road on your right. Follow this road for about 1km until you get to Jachie village. Here you see a building with lions on it, there you turn left. Within this compound you will see the shrine.
The shrine is set in the village of Apiakrom. The building looks like a twentieth century building, but they say it’s established in 1799. This shrine has a priest and is still in active use.
From the junction in Banko take a shared car to Nsuta. From Nsuta take a shared taxi towards Kwaaman, where you get off at Apiakrom. Here you will meet the shrine on the left side.
Is visiting traditional shrines worth your while?
Of course this depends on your personal preferences as a traveller. Most guests who visit Moon&Star guesthouse are interested in Ghanaian life. As already written, the traditional belief is part of daily life in Ghana. A visit to a shrine increases your understanding of the traditional belief, provided that you have an open mind. It can also raise questions you can ask the caretaker, the guide or a member of team Moon&Star.
During the 4- and 5-day Ashanti tour we visit Bodwease shrine
We chose this shrine because the architecture is beautiful and because the caretaker likes to receive tourists and therefore explains a lot. He speaks Twi, so bringing an interpreter/guide is very useful.