Wulomo

IMG_7248The Wulomoi are priests – servants of God. Traditionally the Ga people were a Theocracy ruled by priests. It is said that the word ‘Wulomei’ is  a combination of the words ‘for’ and  ‘lumoi’ meaning ‘our leaders’. They were originally the only rulers of the people. The current Mantse and military system was borrowed from the Akan people. According to Margaret Field this was as a result of the coming of Europeans – ‘for the purposes of warfare, alliances and negotiations with foreigners and outsiders’. It then became necessary for the high priest to relegate much of the secular aspects of his duty to the Mantse – ‘town father’ and the Mankralo – ‘town guardian’. As a result the role of the WULOMO changed over time to focused only on spiritual matters. These spiritual matters include:

  1. Officiating public worship
  2. Calculating dates for Homowo
  3. Offering libations to their gods
  4. purification ceremonies : for the land and for people
  5. Interpreting the will of God to the people
  6. Prays for the people and advises them
  7. deals with cases where his own god has been mentioned

Each Wulomo has a day of worship depending on the god he serves and on this day he does not work. As priests they also live by strict guidelines which include:

  1. not being allowed to leave the town (applies to the head wulomo only)
  2. not being allowed to see dead bodies – if he is about to die he must be taken from the place of his god
  3. not being allowed to attend funerals
  4. cannot have sex on the day before a ceremony or on the day of worship
  5. cannot eat salt except in the form of sea water
  6. You cannot speak to him whilst he is eating
  7. He is not allowed to have personal property

La Homowo Communion

His attire

The Wulomei represent purity and therefore only wear white cloth. His cloth is loose and he usually wears a specific form of headgear. Certain wulomoi have there own nmatsu and wear Afili.

Difference between a Wulomo and a Woryoo

A Wulomo is always a man whereas a Woryoo is usually a woman. A Wulomo is never possessed whereas a woryoo is. A Woryoo is a priestess who acts as the mouth piece of the Gods.

 

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Naa Adjeley Gbɔjɔɔ
Naa Adjeley Gbɔjɔɔ is a researcher of GaDangme History and Culture who is passionate about the preservation of her culture, traditions and heritage in the modern and increasingly globalised world community.

By Naa Adjeley Gbɔjɔɔ