Visiting a Chief

There are special protocols being in the presence of chiefs, queen mothers or elders. When you are visiting a village for the first time and you are not expected, you must ask for the okyeame (spokesman/ linguist) of the chief. You should not ask for the chief himself. The spokesman will inform the chief of your presence, if he is around. The spokesman will inform you as to whether or not the chief can give you an audience. If the audience is granted, then the spokesman will be the interpreter for you and the chief. The spokesman will help you with protocols necessary for being in the presence of a chief.

Often you are asked to remove your shoes, hat and sunglasses before entering the room of the chief. Stand until you have been directed where to sit. Never cross your legs, ankles or arms in the presence of a chief. Again, follow the lead of the spokesman. You must wait for the royal to extend his hand to shake yours. Use your right hand only for greetings (never use the left hand as that is an insult.) Then you shake with your right hand while covering his hand with the other.

You may be offered a drink after libation is poured. It is disrespectful to refuse. The drink is usually strong. One to three sips will make the people happy. If you do not drink alcohol, say so respectfully. When leaving the presence of royals, it is customary to ask for permission to leave. Someone will probably accompany you to your car.

Last modified on Monday, 13 May 2013 12:26