Ghanaian Traditions and Customs – Gift Giving

Going down memory lane, one observation I made about the nature of gift giving was that it was a fairly frequent phenomena. Occasions that called for gift giving included birthdays, religious holidays (e.g christmas), festivals, the birth of a child…. I can go on and on. Giving was so frequent and embedded in the cultural fabric. I also realized that the thought or gesture of the giver carried far more weight than the gift. Whether the gift was expensive or not was of no consequence. As such, items given as gifts ranged from food stock, clothing, cars etcetera.  One other feature that caught my eye was the “gift giving dance” as I called it since it was an art form. For an impressionable child, it was not surprising that I learnt this “dance” – rather well- from my grand-mother. As an adult, I have totally lost this art form.

The formula for this dance was really simple and followed the procedure indicated below:

Son: Mom, I got you this necklace as a gift from my tour.

Mom: Oh son. You shouldn’t have. It looks really expensive. I can’t accept it.

Son: Come on Mom. Please accept it. My heart would be broken if you refuse it

Mom: Aww my dear son. I would rather accept it than watch you die of a broken heart because of my refusal.

Son : Thank so much for accepting my gift. It means a lot to me.

Offer, refuse, offer , accept and thanks; these are the steps that comprise the gift giving dance. Normally, each time my mom, uncle or any other relative offered my grand-mother a gift, the dance (gift  giving) would ensue. It never failed to tickle my sensibilities; so much so that I would burst out laughing raucously.

Eventually, I discovered that the reason why my grand-mother and most of the people I encountered in Ghana, often refused an initial offer of a gift was because they didn’t want to appear as though they were greedy. I don’t know if that is still the case with the current generation. All the same, I have included some enchanting gifts available at  Nopoku below:





3. Green ankara dress 1

4. Anisiyah bead bag



Check out for other enticing gifts !


© 2019 Sherita Brace

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