Damba Festival

Shak, Me, and Peter all dressed up for the Damba Festival

This Friday was the Damba Festival in Tamale. According to Peter and Shak, during this festival “all of the sub-cheifs from the villages around Tamale march into town and then dance outside the central chief’s palace.” I tried to find another description of the festival online but didn’t really have any luck. According to

The significance of the festival is to commemorate the birthday of the Holy Prophet of Islam. Activities includes prayers and fasting and procession of people on horseback, amidst drumming and dancing.

Originally linked with Islam to mark the birth of Mohammed, the festival has gradually taken on a traditional rather than Islamic tone. The 2-day festival is full of pageantry and showmanship and is celebrated in the towns of Dagbon, Gonjaland, Mamprusiland and Nanumbaland

I didn’t see any more praying then was usual for a Friday, but there was a lot of drumming, dancing, firing gunpowder, and horses. I can’t figure out how to upload the videos that I took – anyone have any suggestions? For now, here are some pictures

crowded streets - everyone marching to the Tamale Chief's Palace

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