Traditional Gift for a new Mother in Ghana


Some friends came by with a traditional gift for me, the new mother. The gift was very formally introduced as often is the case with traditional stuff here in Ghana.

Sitting down in plastic chairs in front of our house and pretending like we did not know what was coming, although they had called ahead asking if they could come by with a gift, we greeted them with a longish account of what we had been up to and then listened to their story: “we have come to greet the new mother…”

When formal introductions and description of intent was behind us, I was led to their pick-up and informed of that what was there was for me:
– a crate of eggs
– a big bag of charcoal
– several tubers of yam
– a bottle of whisky

I was advised to drink some whisky every morning and ask my father-in-law for the meaning of my gift.

But to me, it was pretty clear that the gift symbolizes living the good life – filled with food, warmth and the occasional bitter medicine to make everything all right again – something we wish for our daughter.

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