While the goat was being slaughtered, I was reminded of the old testament stories I had learned at sunday school as a child of how unblemished sheep were sacrificed to God. But is this goat being sacrificed God or to gods? Everything is very unfamiliar and a bit uncomfortable. What emotions am I suppose to be feeling as this goat's blood is gushing down my legs and over my feet onto the ground?
The Induction begins with Cedi Kwei, Eric's father, opening with a prayer to God(Ataa Naa Ny) and a prayer calling their ancestors to be together with us. Then in an all-too-familiar moment I am left listening to Eric talk amongst his family and the other apprentices in Ga. I have no clue what is being said until Eric summarizes (in english) of my desire to learn and "to study what our grandfather left for us". As an apprentice I become a member of Eric's family, the Kla-naa family tribe. I am given the name Benjamin Sowah, In honor of Seth Kane Kwei's second son Benjamin. Sowah means second born.
ABOVE: Eric Adjetey Anang presents the items to the workshop
Eric then presents the items that I have collected and purchased that are required for apprenticeship at the workshop: fabric, pencils, matches, cite(currency), soda, beer, liquors, and a goat. After the gift presentation, Eric opens a fresh bottle of Schnapps and I pour Cedi a small glass and he begins the libations. This is a call to the great God, then a call to the smaller gods, and then a call to our ancestors. After Cedi, I then serve Schnapps to everyone else present, each taking a small sip then pouring the remainder on the ground. Eric then pours a glass for me and I follow suit.
ABOVE: The apprentices hold down the goat as Eric Adjetey Kwei severs the neck and the blood gushes onto my feet
"We are just about to slaughter the goat". Eric clutches a butcher knife as an apprentice holds the goat down. The goat squeals and fights as the knife first makes contact with its neck. Several other apprentices come to help hold the goat in place. As the blood starts spurting out its neck and on to my diesel jeans, I am told to put my foot forward under the flow of blood, and then my other foot. Didn't expect that!
ABOVE: Kwesi and Agbe cook the goat over the fire
The other apprentices put the goat on the fire as I am lead to a bucket of water where I can wash the blood off. Meanwhile Eric and I disperse the spirits (soft drinks) and beer among the family. The Initiation is over.
Above: Eric Adjetey Kwei and I disperse the spirits to the family members in the living quarters
Later in the evening I meet back at the quarters and join the family for a meal of goat and rice.