Rituals associated with Pregnancy and children
When a woman is barren she must first go to the family God. There will be one of two responses:
-Your family god will not allow you to bear
-someone has spoilt your Gbeshi
If its the first then usually asks for sacrifices to the God. With the second they will arrange to drive it away in a ceremony that requires carrying a bowl of rum, water and herbs on her head to the sea with virgins and female children who will shout, clap and hoot away the bad gbeshi. The woman will then wash herself in the sea.
If she goes to an ordinary practicioner she will be made to sit in the middle of his yard with a basin of herbs, water and rum on her head. the practicioner and the assistant will then try and drive out the gbeshi with gongs, drums songs etc.
Hopefully after this she will concieve a child.
The woman (if she goes to wulomo) will be taken out of town where the rubbish is kept and she is stripped and made to wash away the evil causing the miscarriages. Food is then laid down in the evil in the hope that the evil will not need to come to the town for food. Then a white chicken brought and the evil put upon it and driven into the forst. The scape chicken is known as Musungkpamɔwuɔ.
Headaches during pregnancy
The husband and wife go to the medicine with eggs and rum. The woman is then seated in the middle of the yard with a basin of water and various herbs in front of her. The medicine man pours the rum in the basin then then the ground. He then prays. he then takes the egg from the water goes round the woman’s head with it several times, rubs it on her stomach, touches her mouth with it and then dashes it to the ground. if the egg splashes its a good sign. If it stays intact especially the yoke then its a bad sign. when all the eggs are broken the woman bathes herself.
Children are very perceptive. When the mother of a child is pregnant the child displays signs of jealousy and becomes greedy and bad tempered – moreso if the child is the same sex as the child (the extent of his behaviour is sometimes used to determine the sex of the child). The child is then sent to a relative who then pampers a child – this is what is termed as Kwashiorkor. This was then used later on to refer to a nutricional deficiency
When the birth is soon approaching the pregnant woman is taken to bath in the sea and as she goes there is an accompanying crowd that shout Ayowie. she is then whitened with clay and confined for three days. At this point the woryo or wulomo would try and find out if there are any tasks that the child coming into the world requires to be fulfilled. A white line crossed by a second line is made infront of the woman and this makes the unborn child become attentive. Then the medicine man looks into a bowl of dark liquid while the child ‘speaks’ and makes his intentions known.