Widikum Culture: Shrines

Within the Widikum clan, there are two shrines:

  • Aton Oteng (all villages)
  • Adulebeng (for Tikom village).

The spirits of our ancestors are believed to live in the above shrines. Yearly celebrations are organized in their honour and also to request for the following:

  • Fertility of our women
  • Protection from evil spirit and deadly diseases.
  • Rich harvest

Celebrations at each shrine are presided over by a high priest. In the case of Aton Oteng, the present high priest is Papa Icham of Bamben village and David Mba of Boffe village. The Widikum Awareness Forum (cultural committee) is working on the details relating to activities carried out before, during and after the annual celebrations at the shrine.

In summary, before the day chosen to visit the shrine, the following items are prepared: the women prepare traditional dishes including a lot of egusi pudding or cake, while the men store calabashes of raffia palm wine. On the day proper, the population processes solemnly to the shrine. The high priest and the elders sit on the ancestral stones. The high priest addresses the population; he then evokes the ancestors, sacrificing a fowl and a goat.

The traditional sacrifice to the ancestors is followed by a lot of feasting and dancing. At the end of the feasting:

  • A life fowl is left in the forest surrounding the shrine.
  • Women fish for the symbols of luck in the pool of water. Mudfish, tadpoles and frogs are symbols of fertility among women, good luck, peace, abundance and good health.
  • The carcass of the goat is taken back home and shared among the elders.

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