The Pokoyirdeme also known as the
Miiwors are believed to have hailed from Lobi Gawu in Côte d'Ivoire.
They are presently found around Meteu, Ga and Lassia in the Wa West
district of the Upper West region.
Chemuoyiri, also known as
Babile, is one of their major and very promising settlements in terms
of progress. The community is located a few kilometres away from Ga to
the West sharing boundary with Lassia Tuolu in the Wa West districts.
The founder of this noble community migrated from his hometown to seek
asylum and peace because of his troublesome son who could snatch
people’s wives indiscriminately. And each time he perpetuates this act,
his father was fined heavily which renders him powerless and voiceless
among his tribesmen.
Agriculture is their
mainstream economic activity with emphasis on food cropping, and
livestock production. Sheabutter extraction, pottery and ‘zana’ mat
weaving are other economic activities their women engage in. While the
Ghana Cedi is the official medium of exchange, barter system of trade
as well as the use of cowries for customary and business activities is
common practices among the people of Chemuoyiri.
The people of Chemuoyiri are
industrious hard working yet they lack a lot of basics in life.
Children still travel kilometres to attended school. Just like the
Brfios, child labour, teenage marriages, high school drop outs
especially among girls, rampant rural urban drift among boys,
violations of women rights, and limited access to health and
educational facilities are common among the people of this tribe. There
is only one borehole serving the community of nearly 1,500 residents.
A good lot of these
drawbacks have customary undertones. For instance, just like the
Brifos, girls are married out for cattle; and women are much seen and
treated as estates than human beings.
The Pokoyirdeme also have
very interesting cultural practices. Notable among them is the
‘Kuruwii’ practices, which is a kind of puberty or initiation rites
performed to introduce young adults to their ancestors, and to seek
protection and blessing from them. The month-long outdoors rites, which
are performed every six years, involve making a voyage to their
homeland and re-naming every participant by the ancestors. The
‘Kuruwii’ are usually escorted with yawning sound producing set of
drums, known as the gangakpen and singing.