21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Gonje Players

It's a very important day in the history of the remote village Sognaayili, Northern Region, Ghana. Their new chief is getting appointed. The event is going on the entire day. All the inhabitants of the village and the neighboring villages come outside, gather in the heat of Ghana's striking sun, to see who their new chief is. The chief arrives on a horse, and walks through several villages, until he arrives in His village. People follow him on horses, by foot, on okadas (motorbikes in Westafrica), people are carrying drums, guitars, and other traditional instruments. Everyone is dancing, everyone is running, everyone is jumping, everyone is singing. Like these two guys pictured in this photo. An elderly man, together with a teenage boy are playing together the Gonje, a one-string fiddle that is a traditional instrument in Ghana. They are both laughing into the camera, whilst playing the Gonje.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2023
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Sognaayili, Ghana
Camera: ILCE-7M4
Copyright: © Cynthia Hofmann