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Wulomei

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Wulomei is a traditional folk percussion group formed in 1973 in Ghana, almost singlehandedly spearheading the revival of Ghanaian folk music along with collaborative cultural shows.

The group was formed by Nii Ashitey (ex- Tempos, Police Band, Brigade Band No. 2) and Saka Acquaye (composer and impresario), with three female singers supported by acoustic guitar. Wulomei included three male vocalists as well.

To purely acknowledge the significance and origin of the name “Wulomei,” one has to understand the name’s position in the grand context of Ga culture. The name “Wulomei” means “chief priests.” In his 1971 paper titled Modern Folk Opera in Ghana, Saka Acquaye pointed to the role of the Wulomo (singular) as the chief priest who prayed on behalf of the Ga people. In addition to the role as the chief priest, the Wulomo is the reckoner of the Ga calendar and the trustee of Ga law and custom.

It is no coincidence that the Wulomei performers seen here are dressed as chief priests, and the music is laced with allegories and subject matters that preserve Ga folklore and culture.

Their sound included bamboo flutes, substantial percussion section of drums, calabash, clips, gong and giant frame gombe drum.

Though Wulomei sang in Ga language primarily, the mixture of sea shanties, street songs, highlife and pachanga had a wide appeal beyond Ga-speaking Ghanaians.

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