The Anlo people of Ghana are blessed with one of the best and most attended annual festivals, the Hogbetsotso festival. The bigger question is, what is the historical background of Hogbetsotso festival?
Many people including historians, educationists, and scholars have tried to score the root of the Hogbetsotso festival with reference to contents in some books and history materials but the details are yet to be known.
I have taken my time to ask the grey hairs of the Anlo land the necessary important questions and the answers are what I am bringing to your attention the root and historical backing of the festival.
In this article, you will learn the truth and you shall be able to lead conversations on the subject matter of the Hogbetsotso history to the extent that you will keep this page a favorite source.
Historical Background of Hogbetsotso Festival
Hogbetsotso festival generally is celebrated to honor the ancestors of Anlo land who through wisdom led the people of the land made up of 36 states and 15 clans from the shackles of a wicked king called King Agorkorli.
Long ago, history has it that the current Anlo people were under the leadership of King Agorkorli in Notsie, a town in modern-day Togo that currently still exists as a habitat for a lot of Togolese.
To be fair, the Anlo people were enslaved by the king so, at the time, they only do what they are told to do, a situation that makes them so uncomfortable hence a plan was hatched by the leaders of the group, Torgbe Sri and Torgbe Adeladza.
The kingdom of Notsie was fenced with a mud wall that is as thick as 15 or more inches so the first point of call was how to penetrate it. To do that, everyone was asked to pour used or wastewater at a particular spot of the wall until it is weak to collapse.
The collapse of the wall gave the people a chance to escape and on the day of the escape, they drummed, sang, and danced so loudly that no one suspected their plans until it was too late.
The story of their escape is like the biblical Pharoah and the Israelites’ story because King Agorkorli sent people after them. However, the Anlo people outsmarted their capturers.
In order not to be caught, they walked backward while facing the kingdom of Notsie in curvy ways. This confused the warriors of Notsie who could not catch up hence the freedom of the Anlo people.
The first ever Hogbetsotso festival was celebrated when the last state of the land found for themselves a place to call home. The festival was to celebrate their freedom from slavery.
To keep the memory of the struggles of the forefathers of the land, the Anlo people celebrate the Hogbetsotso festival annually by performing all laid down rites.