Gbofe of Afounkaha : the Music of the Transverse Trumpets of the
Gbofe of Afounkaha are side-blown trumpets used in rituals and
traditional ceremonies. The
term "gbofe" may refer to the instruments, the players,
the music of the trumpets or the entire performance. Gbofes are
used in rituals and traditional ceremonies which are deeply
rooted in the tradition of the Tagbana people.
The making of the instruments is
also a ritual occasion, whereby a ceremony is held when the roots
of a tree from which they are made is cut. The trumpets are used
in groups of six with the fifth trumpet playing the leading part
and accompanied by traditional drums and costumed male dancers
performing ritual dances. As Tagbana dialect is a tonal language,
certain "words" can be played on the trumpets which are
"translated" by a choir of costumed women. Themes
of these songs include love, mourning, education and daily life.
and rural exodus are jeopardizing the continued creation of Gbofe
trumpets. Young people are less interested in the traditions of
Gbofe will be reinforced by inclusion in school curricula, through
research, promotional activities, and through the organizing of
festivals in the Tagbana community. It is envisaged that
scholarships be given to train young musicians.