Agbadza, Akwadja, Attrikpiu are a derivative of the very old dance before the end of a war Atrikpui at the Ewe in Ghana. Because Atrikpui was only danced after completion of a battle, a derivative dance was born. The Atrikpui could only be danced when the soldiers were on their way home and in the suburbs the people met the returning soldiers. This was also exclusively danced by men. Only if a woman was on the throne at that time or was the successor to the throne, was it permissible for other women to dance with. Atrikpui is still being danced and many songs remind us of the military tradition in which the rhythm arose and the time in which the Ewe people migrated from Benin, to the Niger, to Dotsie and – even later – the coast of present-day Ghana. (From Studies in Afrikan Music by A.M. Jones (Volume I, p.162 and Volume II, p.166, according to Linsay Rowlands).
By Ehorn media: ‘This is a ceremony that shows the traditional dance of Agbadza of the people of Sokpoe in the Volta region of Ghana. Agbadza is an ewe music and dance that evolved from the time of war into a very popular recreational dance. It was originally done by the Ewe people of the Volta region of Ghana, specifically during the Hogbetsotso festival, a celebration by the Anlo Ewe people. This dance can also be seen in present-day Togo and Benin.’
Hilde Gams indicates that it is now also being played at funerals. Ghana has its own drums, which are often strung with Antilope-skin. Like the ton-shaped drums that are closed at the bottom, and have (decorated) openings in the sides; in order of big: Atsimevu, Sogo, Kidi, Kaga(n). In addition, drums with an open bottom; the Kpanlogo (also barrel-shaped) and the Kroboto and Obrente. The drums are played with sticks and hands. Also metal bubbles are used the Dewr (Akan name for banana shaped bell) and the Dewrnta; the twin bell that is called in Ewe Gankogui.
Legend: Words and Signals for the chosen strokes: The words come from the Ewe language and are therefore not standard for Ghanaian, but for Ewe rhythms. But not for Kpanlogo, for example. The slap is not a word in this ‘language’. Enjoy Agbadza, Akwadja, Attrikpiu!
- dè ● open stroke on skin (After the ‘ga’ has been played also named ‘zè’)
- to: ❍ open stroke muffled with hand just before striking
- … z muffled stick-stroke on skin (stick pushes on skin)
- ka H wood
- ga B open stroke in the middle of the skin (bass) (“pull the tone from the drum”)
- gè T open stroke on side of the skin
- dzji t combination ‘ge’ left (side) and wood right.
- dzja ß combination of bass left (centre skin) and wood right
- oink ■ open stroke with wood (right), followed muffle on left, causing the rissing of this tone. (Oink is a word made up by Hilde)
- gi muffled stsroke (mute)
- ? d stick or hand (left) on skin before a muffled stoke by stick or hand right.