Nzulezu Stilt Settlement

Ghana
Date of Submission: 17/01/2000
Criteria: (i)(iii)(v)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Ghana Museums and Monuments Board Government of the Republic of Ghana
Coordinates: Jomoro District of Western Region near Beyin, 90km to the west of Takoradi
Ref.: 1394
Themes
Cultural landscapes

Description

The spectacular scenery of stilt propped water settlement of Nzulezu built on lake Tadane located in the Jomoro District in the Western Region of Ghana stands out as a magnificent interplay between man and his environment. Nzulezu is an Nzema word meaning "surface of water." The inhabitants of the village are said to have migrated from Walata, a city in ancient Ghana Empire' the earliest of the Western Sudanese States. According to tradition, ancestors of the village were brought to their present place under the guide of a snail. The serene ambience of the surrounding landscape coupled with the general activities of life point to a dynamic relationship between man and nature. Traditional village life is adapted to the watery conditions to the amazement of the visitor. All activities pertaining to normal life chores such as pounding of fufu (a traditional meal) schooling, worship and burial are done on the lake. New born babies are baptized in the lake. The lake it is said, averts possible disasters like outbreak of f~re, killing of natives of the village on or around it. The sacred day of the lake is Thursday, a day set aside on which no activity is supposed to take place signifying a strict adherence to traditional norms and taboos. Nzulezu stilt settlement is a unique lacustrine habitation achieved by a harmony of forces of nature to meet man's needs resulting in a settlement of outstanding value.