On the 1st Saturday of May, the Aboakyer (Aboakyir) Festival takes places in Winneba to celebrate the migration of the towns people from Sudan to Ghana.
The hunt really kicks off early Saturday morning with the sound of drums, bells, and bugles waking up the warrior groups. These two warrior groups, known locally as Asafo, go out on a hunting expedition in a special game reserve to catch a live deer.
Catching a live deer with only your bare hands and sticks requires speed, agility and bravery and so the first group to capture the animal are regarded as heroes.
When a catch is made, the competition comes to an end immediately and the hunter who catches it carries the deer on his neck and return to the festival ground amidst jubilation. The successful Asafo are then presented to the chiefs and people as winners of the competition.
The Chief performs the acceptance rites and the animal is slaughtered as a sacrifice to the god, Penkye Otu, to show their appreciation for the protection it has offered them. This makes the god happy and it in turn it will bless the people with a bountiful farming season.
Although the deer hunt is the main event, prior to and after the hunt there are loads of other activities including singing, dancing, a beauty pageant, canoe racing, football, wrestling, a gospel musical night, a tug of war and general clean-up and consecration of the shrine.
How to get to the festival grounds