Tongo is a town in north eastern Ghanain the region of Bolgatanga. It is known for the Tengzug shrine and for its sowing and harvest festivals. Another visitor's sight in the region is the Tongo Whistling Rocks. The rocks also make a strange whistling sound during November and December, when the harmattan wind blows from the Sahara throughout the Northern Region. Upload your photo of Tongo!
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Grow your travel business and get new leads from interested customers. Yeji, Ghana. Be The First To Review. Craft Makers Tour. Accra, Ghana.Discover more about your ethnicity with AncestryDNA. For years, anthropologists and others looked at African ethnic groups as being mostly solitary and static. Benin sits just west of Nigeria, and west of Benin is Togo. Benin has a population of 9.
Togo is only slightly behind with a growth rate of 2. Though tied closely together by history, geography and religion, the inhabitants of Benin and Togo are ethnically quite different.
Benin has more ethnic ties to its neighbor Nigeria; Togo has more links to Ghana. These ethnic ties are the result of long-standing kingdoms that flourished before European colonists created new borders. Considering their small size, both countries have great ethnic diversity, especially in the north.
Some populations there are related to ethnic groups farther north in Burkina Faso, and the small but influential Hausa population is largely responsible for bringing Islam to Togo. In the south of Benin, the Fon people are dominant. They are descendants from the powerful African kingdom of Dahomey that ruled the region from about to Most northern Beninese and Togolese practice herding, fishing and subsistence farming.
Trade is limited in the north, where neither country has much in the way of navigable waterways or viable roads. In the more urbanized south, however, people have greater social and physical mobility.
In the past, the proximity to the coast spawned trade relationships with Europeans, other Africans and with slave traders. Many people in Togo and Benin speak one of about 20 related Gbe languages.
Linguistic evidence indicates that most of the Gbe people came from the east in several migrations between the 10th and 15th centuries. The Gbe were pushed westward during a series of wars with the Yoruba people of Nigeria, then settled in Tado on the Mono River in present-day Togo.
AroundFon emigrants from Tado established the Kingdom of Dahomey, a Fon monarchy that ruled Benin for some years. It was also the top trading partner with the Europeans. Other contemporary kingdoms in Benin included Porto-Novo, as well as smaller northern states. Many other groups who settled in Togo were refugees of wars in Dahomey and what is now Ghana. European slave traders first became a force on the coast of West Africa. By Portuguese traders had reached the Bight of Benin, and by the mids Spain and England had also legalized the slave trade.
As the demand for slaves grew, the Kingdom of Dahomey and others in the region provided European traders with a constant supply in exchange for goods and firearms. Dahomey, which had long paid tribute to the Yoruba Empire of Oyo, used its new weapons and power to throw off that yoke.
With the end of slavery, the Kingdom of Dahomey lost its revenue source and began an economic decline. The French defeated Dahomey in a series of wars between andand eventually, both Benin and Togo minus an area under British control became part of French West Africa.
One result of the French colonial period was that, in many cases, French West Africans had certain citizenship or other rights under French law; over time, African communities sprang up in France and other parts of Europe. Inboth Benin and Togo declared independence. Get AncestryDNA. Benin-Togo Ethnicity For years, anthropologists and others looked at African ethnic groups as being mostly solitary and static.
Dahomey Many people in Togo and Benin speak one of about 20 related Gbe languages. Slave Trade European slave traders first became a force on the coast of West Africa.
Colonization With the end of slavery, the Kingdom of Dahomey lost its revenue source and began an economic decline.In the hills behind the tiny settlement of Tenzugu you can visit a very important ancestor shrine housing an oracle with reportedly great healing powers. In addition, you can arrange a village tour, a hike in the hills and visits to legendary caves that once served as secret hideouts.
Tenzugu makes up for a very nice half day or full day trip, although you can stay overnight as well. The village is situated near the Upper East capital of Bolgatanga, and has recently been developed as a community based ecotourism project with help and funding of Peace Corps and USAID.
The Chief of Tenzug was most welcoming! While the presentation of gifts like money, kolanuts or booze is often treated as a formality, the Chief of Tenzugu invited me for conversation, food and half a calabash of locally brewed beer.
Only this was worth going out here! As Tenzug has become more and more a mix of tradition and modern development in recent years, the guided walk around the tiny village shows how life used to be and how some things are changing. You may be showed such things as the old school a natural platform under an overhanging rock and the newly build primary school, the important traditional gathering places for nature worshiping and several traditional homesteads. If you are interested in certain topics, such as religious matters, farming, water supply, preparing local food or traditions, the tour is strongly recommended.
Cost of the village tour is about EUR 1, Among the new developments in Tenzug is the appearance of one single green waste bin in the fields near the Chief's House, another brilliant idea of USAID!
Closer inspection learned that the bin was half filled with peanut shells. Also funded by USAID is a model Talensi tribe House, which was not yet finished when I visited, but which is planned to be a future tourist attraction and maybe developed as a guesthouse for tourists and pilgrims.
Note that my examples of new developments may sound a bit silly, but need to say also school and medical services have dramatically improved as a result. Request to have a look around the complex! It is a fascinating ever growing collection of circular mud houses for all relatives of the Chief, seperated by tiny narrow passages.
Although not as extensive as the one in nearby Paga for example, at least the people here are very welcoming and you feel at ease at once. On the way up there you will pass several minor shrines, most notably the donkey cave, where donkeyskulls are kept after the animals were ritually sacrificed to please the oracle.
Tourists are not expected to offer a donkey or whatever else, but you pay a fixed fee for the tour. At the shrine you can interact with the fetish man, who does not refuse a small tip.
The importance of the ancestors' shrine was already recognized by the late 19th century. Later, the shrine mysteriously survived many attacks from the British and as a result gained more and more importance. Until today the remote Tonna'ab shrine is visited by Ghanaians from all over the country, especially Ashanti people. The oracle is mostly consulted for healing purposes. A fetish man in the cave acts as medium between human beings and the oracle.
If you seek help don't forget somthing to sacrifice. Access to the shrine was only allowed on bare feet and with bare chest.
Now I found this no issue myself, but there were some young Peace Corps girls in a group who felt somewhat shy about it. I could imagine, because in the USA I believe it is not very common to get half naked to the Priest and his Council, before prayer commences.
Anyway, I thought it was a joke invented by the local boys, but the girls themselves were persuaded easily and didn't mind so much after all. After all, this was Africa we shall call it cultural differences. The Tongo Hills are not just awesome for easy hiking and good views, but have been of historical importance too.
Long before the British arrived, the hills formed a natural barrier between ancient kingdoms, and many battles took place here. Also they functioned as hideouts during slave raids and later as a refuge during the period of resistance against the British Colonial Rule.
A guide explains all of this to you and takes you on a hike to see several historical evidences such as secret shelters, mostly used during slave raids. Some of the hard to find caves still contain tools and provisional kitchens. The guided walk tour took around two hours and was worth my time. The area around Tenzug is really dotted with amazingly balanced rock formations and pretty homesteads.Welcome to Tongo, land of the mysterious whistling rocks and shrines.Paga Crocodiles Ghana
Tongo is known for the, Tengzug shrine, Tongo whispering rocks and for its sowing and harvest festivals. The Tengzug shrine, tucked away in the remote village of Tengzug in Tongo, is unique due to its origin and the way in which local people worship in it. The Tongo Hills and Tengzug Shrine are located in the village of Tengzug, 17 kilometers about 10 miles southeast of Bolgatanga. With its landscape dominated by large granite formations, the Tengzug area evolved as the sacred centre of the Talensis people, an ethnic group in Northern Ghana.
The Tengzug Shrine is located in the Tongo hills and is believed to grant luck and prosperity to all those who visit it. Tengzug Shrine and Whispering Rocks As you make your way into the village, which is set apart from other more remote villages nearby, you discover thatched roof huts that are creatively adorned and painted by the women of the village.
These granite rocks jut dramatically from the terrain. The rocks also make a strange whistling sound during November and December, when the harmattan wind blows from the Sahara throughout the Northern Region. Baobab trees make the Saharan landscape a breathtaking sight to behold. The Talensis of Northern Ghana require you to be topless to observe one of their sacred rituals.
With the smell of animal blood and feces bombarding their senses, man and woman alike must bare themselves to the sub-Saharan heat to enter the Tengzug Shrine in the Tongo Hills. The Tengzug Shrine, one of the most famous in the region, was once a hideout for slaves evading their captors. Now, it is used more traditionally for religious animal sacrifices for good luck and to please the ancestors of the Talensis. With a guide, visitors can scale the rocks up to the Tengzug Shrine, remove their tops and witness the sacrifice of birds and chickens.
In the shrine, among the remnants of the recently sacrificed, visitors get a panoramic view of the region and the surreal world of the Tongo Hills. Giant Baobab trees and boulders define the dry landscape that draws both tourists and religious pilgrims.
The Tongo Hills comprise only twenty square kilometers, but are richly packed with history, religious significance, and fantastic hiking. Along with the many shrines tucked away in the rock formations of the area, the local population has rebuilt a number of classic Talensis homes. Shaped like cylinders and grouped into neighborhoods, the homes have miniature doorways, followed by a short wall inside the home that allows for protection from intruders.
Other than the doorway and a few holes for smoke to exit the structure, they are completely closed off to the outside world. In March, the Talensis celebrate the Golob Festival focusing on the sowing of the fields. With a bit more show to it. Despite their strange and unconventional religious rites and the fact that they worship nude in shrines, the people of Northern Ghana are very intriguing and special. They are known the world over for their fantastic art and culture. The architecture in their villages is impossible to beat.
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Tongo Hills, Bolgatanga. Tongo Hills 10 Reviews. Plan your visit. Experience Northern Ghana In Days. More info. Quick View. Is this a place or activity you would suggest for families with kids? Yes No Unsure. Are the prices for this place or activity budget-friendly? Would you tell a friend to take a guided tour of this place? Is a headcover required for this place or activity?
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Interesting village, good guide.
Shaanxi workers hold peaceful demonstration in Tongo
We came late afternoon, which caused our visit to be a bit too hectic. Make sure you have ample time to look around and meet the chief - included in the program.More than 60 workers of the Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited, including their families and some residents of the Gbane community, in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region on Wednesday staged a peaceful demonstration on the streets of Tongo, demanding the sealing of all illegal pits connecting to the underground mining pits of the company.
It would be recalled that on January 23, this year, an accident which occurred in one of the pits in the area believed to belonged to one Kwesi Appiah, alias Bantama led to the death of 16 people, and this prompted the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, to instruct the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission to investigate the incident.
After its investigation, the regulatory bodies recommended the closure of all illegal pits linking to the underground mining pits of Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited as one of its recommendations. It further recommended that one Kwesi Appiah, alias Bantama, one of the illegal miners whose pit is usually used to penetrate into the concession of the Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited to steal ore belonging to the company and leading to tragic deaths in the pit, should be arrested and prosecuted.
Thousands of illegal miners vacated the mining area when our company was closed. Your email address will not be published. Show More. Related Articles.
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Tongo Whispering Rocks and Shrines
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