Builsa People of Ghana Celebrate Ancestral Warriors’ Victory Over Slave Raiders in Annual Festival


In Northeastern Ghana, the Builsa people commemorate the annual ‘Festival’, celebrating the historical victory of their warriors against enslavers in the late 1800s. This year’s event in Sandema paid homage to the Builsa warriors who successfully resisted invasions from Sahel raiders, using superior tactics and traditional weapons. The festival is an enduring tribute to the ancestors who defended their land and freedom, with the younger generation expressing a strong desire to preserve this legacy.
  • The Builsa people of Ghana celebrate the ‘Festival’ annually to honor their warrior ancestors.
  • In the late 1800s, the Builsa warriors fought off invaders from the Sahel who attempted to enslave them.
  • The Builsa’s traditional weapons, including poisoned arrows, were reportedly more effective than the outdated European guns of the invaders.
  • Strategic battle tactics, such as targeting enemy horses, were crucial to the Builsa’s defensive success.
  • Historical figures like Samori Ture and Babatu are mentioned as leaders who enslaved Africans and targeted the Builsa people.
  • Local sentiment reflects a desire to acknowledge and share the shame of African involvement in slavery alongside European responsibility.
  • The festival serves as a reminder of the importance of resistance stories in the broader narrative of slavery’s history.
  • The Builsa community is committed to preserving and honoring their heritage and the valor of their forebears.

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