The Wulomoi are priests – servants of God. Traditionally the Ga people were a Theocracy ruled by Wulomei. It is said that the word ‘Wulomei’ is a combination of the words ‘Wor’ and ‘Lumoi’ meaning ‘our leaders’.
The current Mantse and military system was borrowed from the Akan people. According to Margaret Field this was due to the coming of Europeans – “for the purposes of warfare, alliances and negotiations with foreigners and outsiders”. The high priest then relegated 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 focus only on spiritual matters. These spiritual matters include:
- Officiating public worship
- Calculating dates for Homowo
- Offering libations to their gods
- Purification ceremonies : For the land and for people
- Interpreting the Will of God to the people
- Praying for the people and advising them
- Dealing 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:
- Not being allowed to leave the town (applies to the head wulomo only)
- Not being allowed to see dead bodies – if he is about to die he must be taken from the place of his god
- Not being allowed to attend funerals
- Cannot have sex on the day before a ceremony or on the day of worship
- Cannot eat salt except in the form of sea water
- People cannot speak to him whilst he is eating
- He is not allowed to have personal property
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.