I have borrowed liberally from the excellent book OMANYE ABA by A. Amartey
The GaDangme outdooring – kpodziemo ceremony places a new born child within the family and relations. It provides the opportunity for the family to welcome the child into the community.
It is held exactly a week after the child is born – it is essentially an 8 day ceremony and can only be held on the day of the week that the child is born and on no other day. You do not outdoor a child born on Tuesday on a Saturday for the sake of convenience. It has to be held on a Tuesday if the child is born on Tuesday or a Sunday if the child is born on a Saturday!
It is held at dawn before the sun rises, it is not about presenting a child to the sun it is about the welcoming the child at dawn – the dawn and in days gone by it was the dew that forms into water that is used for the ceremony often collected from the roof. The Ga phrase for an invitation to and outdooring is – a tsebo bo no – you are being called onto the dew.
It is usually held in the house of the paternal grandparent where all the family have access to and the grandparents are the most important personalities. The parents do not need to attend. It helps if they do.
The child is taken from the home of the mother early and transported to the house of the grandparent; this is usually done by an uncle of the child though he maternal family plays an integral role and are seated deep in yard of the house.
The ceremony has 16 parts and some are abridged for simplicity or compacted for purposes of convenience.
Four main people take part in the ceremony. The paternal grandfather, and two otsiame and the god father or mother depending on the gender of the child.
It is often times an all day ceremony, though it has to end by 6 pm as custom demands.
It is assumed that this is the first time the child is leaving the house after birth.
Order of the ceremony
1 Daatuu Presentation of drinks
2 Shidzorrnor/gbeglemor Ground blessing and asking for permission
3 Kponorgmei Out dooring
4 Dzormor Blessing
5 Daawoo Refreshments
6 Gbeiwoo Naming
7 Nikee Gifts
8 Nikwemor Accounting for the gifts
9 Saramor. Shitee, Shidaa Thanksgiving drinks
10 Yeigbewoo Parting gifts for women’s side
11 Ngmeidaa shishifortemor Draining off the corn drink
12 Kposamo Rubbing of hands
13 Daadaimo Finishing the hard drink
14 Shidaa Vote of thanks
15 Gbebimor ke gbetsorrnor Directions for parting
16 Henorwormor Rising
To read about the ceremony in more detail you can click the ‘Kpodziemo‘ PDF
Ade Sawyerr Oyiwaladoŋŋ for this Article
Atta Lantei talks about elements of the Kpodziemo
Ga Naming ceremony as practiced in the Diaspora