The centre of the village was full with jubilating people. The round full moon high up in the sky. The men were in groups drinking palm wine while the women dance ‘kete’ in front of the blazing bon fire. The maidens dressed beautifully in their calico and beads decorating their waist and their delicate neck moved about gracefully distributing nonstop wine from their gourds.
There was an air of anticipation as the agog looking youths began to fret; already on the verge to start a real feast of dancing and beating drums.
The women took their seat to sip some wine and allowed the old hunters to make a rifle display. They shot their rifles in the sky to demonstrate how they also feed the people with the meat they catch.
The tune of the drums got wild and the maidens and the lads took over with the kete dance.
Kete is a royal dance. It is danced to express the powerful authority of a paramount king. Sometimes a dancer who plans on having fun in the course of the dance can make a whole art of it to tell someone that he’s single and is available. Should the person be single too, she signs with the hand to an agreement that each finds the other attractive. She then joins the dance and together with the dancer makes a rich display of ‘kete’with the combination of romance.
Since it was quite amusing for the public and acceptable on such occasions, the young lads who planned on missions of the heart set in to find their partners. They danced ardently toward the shy maidens and scanned their faces.
“That one sure is mine” Afua preened herself and adjusted her breast attractively. The other girls giggled.
Amma sat calmly with Adwubi and would hastily sign to the interested lads that she was proudly engaged should they approach her. Although she could choose to step away from the grounds, she sat calmly with Adwubi’s hand tucked in hers. She was eyeing Kofi-wusu to pass a message to him.
The moment Kofi signed to Amma, she signed back; “I’m engaged but my friend here is interested”
Kofi smiled. He moved to Adwubi and signed to her. Adwubi too shy only sat idle and refused to even meet his gaze.
Amma sighed and said. “Look she’s a very shy girl but she’s really interested in you. Can’t you try another method?”
Kofi smiled. The girl in front of him was very good looking and he had a plan. He raised his hands and drums died abruptly. The people murmured confusingly but sensed what was going on moved aside and made space for Kofi. They looked on and gasped as Kofi knelt in front of Adwubi.
“You focus my mind but to vanishing point
You try to hide your honeyed face
But I almost can make out your bright eyes in the dark
O beauty, beauty concealed in the depth of darkness
Hide not what is in your eyes with the veil of shyness and silence
‘Cos the deeper your silence, the louder it vibrates the tune of love
Let me have this dance and together make this single spark from within
Grow into a great firework…”
“Well said.” The women beamed and approved.
“That’s a real man” the men beat thumped their chest and bellowed proudly.
The drums took gradually on a tune when Adwubi finally stood up to dance. It was a slow rhythm which nurtured into a wild one.
Before they realized what was happening, Adwubi was already on the lead with the proposal. The people clapped, clearly amused and said, “Eeeii so she was interested”
The two were no longer dancing on their feet; they were on springs- their movement so involved and unique.
When they finally ended their dance everybody was applauding and cheering. They were breathless with love as they gazed into each other’s eyes.
“This is my best dance ever” Kofi gasped.
Adwubi smiled bashfully. “Me too…”
There was no noise to invade, not a soul to interrupt. It was only two love birds who were entangled in the web of love under the harvest moon. The wind should howl to tell the people of Omanpe that, a love story has already begun…