Men III; Hunting, Trapping, Fishing
by Phil Bartle, PhD
Historically, Kwawu was famous for its elephant. The elephant is an important symbol on the regalia of the paramount chief of Kwawu. The Afram Plains was the home of the Kwawu elephant. No elephant has been recorded as killed, however, since 1910, The Bretuo clan settled on the North side of the Afram Plain after their first attempt to conquer Kwawu on the escarpment was unsuccessful.
Deer meat is very popular, and tastes much like goat, which is equally popular. As the rain forest is heavily farmed, and most of the big trees have been cut down and sold as hardwoods, there is lettle deer left in Kwawu.
Bush Meat (Rain Forest Animal Protein)
Hunters are usually men. Sometimes when they go into the rain forest they will gather some vegetables or insects if available, although usually women do the gathering when they go to farm.
Rain Forest Snail (about 10 cm long)
Young men go to bush areas to capture, shoot or trap small deer or grass cutters. Grass cutters in the Caribbean are called cane rats but they are not rats. They are most closely related to porcupine. They are cousins to rabbits and beavers and are totally vegetarian (unlike rats and mice). They prefer to live in sugar cane fields. If the young men can sell the fresh game on the roadside they do, but if no one pays the high asking price, they smoke the meat. Smoked game meat is very popular in Akan communities.
Grass Cutter (Thryonomys spp.)
Bats are very common in Kwawu. Many live in the caves, but others live in the tall rain forest trees. Although they are eaten throughout southern Ghana, the Kwawu have a reputation for preferring them as food. They are often smoked or dried. When prepared like that they show their teeth and a deathly grimace. They are jokingly called, "Da nkwan sri," (Lie in soup laughing).
In the small towns, there may be a settlement of northerners, who are usually Moslem, and who butcher and sell beef. The cows walk all the way from the north because the tsetse fly prohibits them from being raised in the rain forest.
Edible insects, like mushrooms, are very seasonable, and available relative to the seasonal rains. Ant colonies, for example, release large numbers of queens and drones, 12, 24 or 36 hours after the first heavy rains of the year. They mate, lose their wings, and begin new ant colonies. Full of fat, they are attracted to lights in the evening, and people collect large numbers of them as they fall to the ground under the lights. Although some persons are willing to eat them raw, they are best fried before eating. The larval stages (grubs) of the rhinoceros beetle are described in the page on other oil palm products.
Large scale fishing is done by men in the ocean. Kwawu is land locked, however, and has no direct access to the ocean.
There is fishing however, in the Akosombo Lake, which in Kwawu was formerly the Afram River.
Fresh Water Fish Trap
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