Wa Naa makes successful jump over cow to climax Dumba festival

It has been the practice and custom over the past 400 years that every Overlord of the Waala people jumps over a cow to test his spiritual capability and physical strength to lead the people.

Every year, the age-old ritual for the chief sparks apprehension and anxiety, and evokes emotions among his audience and close relatives.

But many tourists get excited by the suspense and drama that characterise the colourful celebration, although it remains one dreadful moment for the chief.


Once the cow is tied to the floor and the Wa Naa is required to jump over it, the moment of his destiny then begins to count as his ability to successfully jump or not spells out a judgement on whether or not he can finish another term on the throne.


On Friday, October 14, 2022, Wa Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV appeared at the forecourt of his palace to undertake the exercise to climax this year’s Dumba festival.

As tradition demands, he was supposed to jump over the cow without any part of his body or dress touching the cow.

It is believed that should he fail in this customary rite, he may not live to witness the next Dumba festival.


Members of his immediate family, including his first daughter, Barikisu Fuseini Pelpuo, wished a day like that was never on the calendar – she walked off the durbar grounds to conceal her anxiety over the ‘make-or-break’ age-old ritual for her father.

The Overlord wore a talismanic smock that used to be worn by his grandfather, Naa Pelpuo III, 100 years ago.

Wa Naa Fuseini Pelpuo IV was sandwiched by representatives from the 12 recognised sects that form the Waala state to go round the cow. The Imams led the way with recitation of some verses of the Holy Quran praying for a successful jump.


It was a tense atmosphere. The movement around the cow slowed a few times and the Wa Naa peeked at the obliging cow.

The crowd went dead following the last drum signifying the completion of the seventh round.

Successfully, the Waala Overlord had a 15th successful jump over the cow, to extend his reign.


The crowd went agog as some of the family members emerged from their ‘hideouts’ to join in the dance on the grounds.

The chief returned to his palace dressed in a blue-white embroidery gown known in local parlance as ‘Burmuha’, with his medallion dangling on his neck and himself beaming with smiles that could only signify victory.


Source: joyfmonline

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