Warning: Undefined array key "host" in /home/bellpape/talkafricana.com/wp-content/plugins/schema-and-structured-data-for-wp/admin_section/common-function.php on line 3653

Warning: Undefined array key "host" in /home/bellpape/talkafricana.com/wp-content/plugins/schema-and-structured-data-for-wp/admin_section/common-function.php on line 3653

Mafi Dove – The Ghanaian Village Where Childbirth Is A Taboo

In Ghana’s Mafi-Dove community in Central Tongu district of the Volta Region, located along the Accra-Aflao road, it’s a taboo for a woman to give birth in the community.

Mafi Dove – The Ghanaian Village Where Childbirth Is Taboo

The village of Mafi Dove, in southern Ghana, is home to around 5,000 people, almost none of whom were born here. The village is considered to be a holy land and consequently has a plethora of customs and traditions that have been upheld throughout its existence. One of these is the belief that childbirth in the village is an offence to the gods.

Because of this belief that childbirth in the village is an offence to the gods and that it brings offense to the gods, expectant mothers are rushed to neighboring communities to deliver their babies there.

Childbirth in the village is considered taboo, so women approaching their due date are transported to neighboring villages or towns and forced to remain there until their babies’ umbilical cords fall off. Only then can they return.

Because premature births increase the risk of a woman breaking the tradition by having a baby in Mafi Dove, it’s not unusual for expectant mothers to be sent out of the village 1–2 months before they are due. However, there have been cases where women had to be transported out of the village in excruciating pain, and babies suffering due to birth complications.

Mafi Dove’s unusual taboos are linked to the founder of the village, a hunter named Togbe Gbewofia Akiti. According to village elders, when Akiti first set foot on the land where Mafi Dove now lies, a voice from the sky told him that this was a sacred and peaceful place and that if he and his people wanted to settle there, they had to abide by the three rules: no animal rearing, no burials and no childbirths.

“Wherever there is evil, there is no development,” the elders of Mafi Dove said. “Because of these taboos, there has never been any bloodshed, crimes and so on. You are allowed to bring animals and slaughter them in the land, women are free to menstruate, but to give birth, no way. We are very proud to be bound by those taboos.”

Completely preventing childbirth is almost impossible, and the elders of Mafi Dove admit that there have been cases of babies being born in the village. However, these are rare exceptions that had to be be handled carefully to avoid angering the gods. The mother’s family needs to alert the elders as soon as an accidental birth occurs, so they can then carry out a ritual to cleanse the village and appease the gods.

Although childbirths in the village are frowned upon by local leaders, “offenders” aren’t punished by the community. The general belief is that mothers who break this ancient rule risk giving birth to abnormal babies, but no one can recall any babies being born with deformities or other health issues as a result of breaking tradition. Perhaps those cleansing rituals are super effective…

In recent years, more and more women have been challenging the taboos and demanding to be able to have their babies in the village without being shunned by the community, but the elders refuse to budge.

They are convinced that honoring these longstanding traditions is paramount to ensuring the safety and prosperity of Mafi Dove and its people. However, they have made a concession, approving the building of a maternity clinic on the village outskirts, so that women can deliver babies closer to home.


Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to receive email updates

With a subscription profile, you automatically receive updates without having to return to the website and check for changes

Just In

The Creation Story of the Akamba People of Kenya

In the beginning, Mulungu the creator is said to have formed a man and a woman in heaven before placing them on a rock in on earth, where it is said that their footprints, as well as the footprints of their animals, can still be seen today.

Bussa’s Rebellion of 1816, the Largest Slave Revolt in Barbadian History

The largest slave rebellion in Barbadian history took place during the Bussa uprising in April 1816. The rebellion takes its name from the African-born...

Top 10 Longest Serving Presidents in Africa, 2022

Equatorial Guinea's president Teodoro Obiang is the longest serving president in Africa and the world. He is closely followed by Cameroons President Paul Biya.

Cornelius Frederiks: the Namibian Captain Who Was Locked Up in a Concentration Camp for Fighting Against German Colonialists

Cornelius Frederiks was a Namibian freedom fighter who actively fought a guerrilla-style war against German colonialists during the Herero-Nama war of 1904.

List of African Countries and Their Presidents (2022)

This is a list of African countries and their presidents, heads of state, heads of governments, and other rulers in the year 2022.

More Articles Like This