Culture is the way of life of the people and has far reaching implications for the development of the district. It consists of the traditional set-up, ethnicity, communal spirit and participation, and traditional knowledge and values.
Traditional Set -Up
The entire Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal falls under the overall jurisdiction of three paramountcies namely Anhwiaso, Sefwi Bekwai and Chirano Traditional Areas with their overlords (Amanhene) residing at Anhwiaso, Sefwi Bekwai and Chirano respectively. Next to the Amanhene’s authority are Divisional Chiefs in major communities followed by Sub-chiefs and Odikros in minor settlements and subjects in that order. This hierarchical structure has created a peaceful and united atmosphere among the people of the area, which is a prerequisite for development in the municipal. Again, even though there are three paramountcies the same district, there is peaceful co-existence and unity among them which is helpful for the speedy development of the municipal.
The ethnic groups in the municipal include Sefwis who are the majority and others such as Brongs, Ashantis, Northerners and Ewes who for economic reasons are scattered all the municipal.
Although the municipal is ethnically diverse with the Sefwis, the indigenous peoples, being the largest group, there is ethnic tolerance and peaceful co-existence among the different ethnic groups residing in the municipal which provide congenial environment for development. The various ethnic groups informs the Assembly about the type of development programmes and projects design in line with the values of different tribes.
Communal Spirit and Participation
Basically, there is high level of communal spirit and participation among communities in the municipal. This high communal spirit coupled with community participation is seen in decision-making, project planning and implementation between the various communities and development partners such as municipal Assembly, Donors, and NGOs. This favourable condition is a recipe for successful implementation of development programmes and projects and attraction of investors into the municipal.
Traditional Knowledge, Values, Attitudes and Practices
The indigenous people, who are the Sefwi, cherish traditional values, attitudes and practices. Some of the values of the people are celebration of Annual Yam Festival, traditional marriage rites and adherence to Sacred Thursdays when nobody is expected to work on the land. Certain acts which are considered as taboos include pregnancy before initiation rites for women (Bragoro), bringing a complete palm fruit without cutting it into pieces to town, and tying up firewood with palm fronds.
Besides, norms such as respect for the elderly, hard work, friendliness and humility are ingrained in the people. Even though these traditional values, practices and norms exist, they are gradually being relegated into the background because of external influences such as Christianity and foreign cultures. Nonetheless, the Annual Yam Festival (Elluoe) is very much celebrated every year. This festival has the potential of becoming one of the most important tourist attractions and a platform for initiating various developmental projects as well as ensuring peace and unity among the people in the municipal.
The inhabitants of the municipal are very religious and affiliated to one form of religion or the other. Three major religions are found in the municipal. Table 1.15 depicts the religious composition of the municipal population. The table also indicates that Christianity has emerged as the major religion in the Municipal with a total proportion of 83.6 per cent, followed by the Non-Christians and those not affiliated to any religion both proportion of 8.2 per cent.
Unlike some parts of the country where religious conflicts are on the ascendancy, there is religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence among the religious groups in the municipal. The development of the municipality is not hampered by religious diversity and differences but it rather enhances co-existence and unity among the people. This has influence on the type of development programmes and projects the Municipal Assembly could initiate to improve the lives of the people.
Date Created : 11/19/2017 2:45:19 AM