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    BICAF 2023 Opens with Display of Powerful Traditional Dances from Upper East

    On November 1, 2023, the grand opening of the Bolgatanga International Crafts and Arts Fair (BICAF) took place in Bolgatanga, in the Upper East regional capital of Ghana.

    The 5-day festival which features a variety of performances, exhibitions, and workshops is a celebration of African arts and culture, particularly, producers of woven baskets and artifacts.

    One of the highlights of the grand opening was the Gam Gam dance; a traditional dance of the people of Tongo by the Boya Dance Group.

    Gam Gam is the name of a god and the dance is performed to celebrate the annual thank giving and bumper harvest by the Tongos.

    The Boya Dancers are known for their energetic performances and their colorful costumes.

    The dancers wore traditional Ghanaian clothing, including loincloths, headbands, and beads.

    They also carried bells, gourds, horse tails which they used to create dramatic and dynamic dance moves.

    The performance opened with a slow and deliberate dance, which gradually built in tempo and intensity.

    The Sakote cultural group from the Nabdam District display some incredible feet works after the Agoajaabiik dancers from Sandema demonstrated a war dance as they charged and moved their bodies in unison, their spears and shields flashing in the light.

    The audience was captivated by the performance, and cheered wildly as the dancers reached their climax.

    It was a fitting way to open the BICAF 2023 festival, and it left a lasting impression on the audience.

    Performers who spoke to this reporter on the sidelines of the event observed that they were committed to preserving and promoting Ghanaian traditional dance as they continue to inspire audiences with their energy, skill, and passion.

    The ceremony was graced by dignitaries including Hilary Adongo from the Restorative Seed Society, Rex Asanga, MCE of Upper East Region and a high powered delegation from Fair Trade Africa.

    Watch dance performances in video below

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