Traditions and History of Humjibre
Despite the effects of recent electrification Humjibre retains a distinctively African village culture. Before dawn, the village roosters make a racket to announce the departure of the first farmers to their fields; any birth or death is known by everyone seemingly in an instant; the voices of children singing songs can be heard coming from primary school classrooms for much of the day; traditional dress with adinkra symbology is still worn on ceremonial occasions; and there is a humbling welcome extended to any stranger who comes to a homestead, no matter how modest.
Humjibre holds the traditional post of Krontihene meaning Defense chief, in the traditional area or paramountcy. Whenever there was a vacancy at the paramountcy, the Humjibre chief assumed temporary responsibility as paramount chief.
Every year the people celebrate “Yam” festival. This is when chieftaincy’s regalia and ornaments are displayed. Chiefs and the people dress in rich traditional cloths. Chiefs are carried in palanquins amid drumming and dancing and feasting. Yam festival is observed to usher in the New Year and to thank God for the previous harvest. The ritual of libation pouring is performed at this ceremony.
Humjibre literally translated means “a place of rest.” Long ago, the village was part of a well-traveled route to the coast. Travelers heading to the coast usually stopped overnight to rest in Humjibre, where they would always find a reliable source of water and a warm welcome from the people there. So the village gradually acquired the name Humjibre.
Before the village was founded, around 150 years ago, the people formed part of a group of Sefwis constantly on the move because of the intertribal wars of the time. This large group settled at a place near Sefwi Bekwai called Asono Mmiensa, meaning Three Elephants. One day a hunter found a pool of water that came from a hill. The water was so cool and refreshing that the hunter reported this to his divisional chief. After inspection, it was widely concluded this water source could be sufficient all year round, so they moved and settled near this water source under the leadership of Nana Anyimadu. The water still runs from the hills and provides the community with cool, refreshing drinking water. A large tract of forest vegetation has been reserved to serve as protective cover for the water. Because of the constant harassment they were always on the defensive and became vexed in warfare. They fought alongside the Ashantis on several occasions. One such brave chief who was revered by the Ashantis was called Nana Kofi Twum.
Another hunter killed an elephant in those days and found, in the bowel of the elephant, a deity. This deity became the peoples’ God of war and was worshipped until recent times. Legend and living testimony speak of several instances when this god helped them to win wars or protected them from dangerous situations. In time of war, this God formed a protective shield of cloud, so thick that the enemy could not see them. They saw and shot at the enemy until the enemy was conquered. Even to this day, the bravery and militancy of the people is such that they are a security unto themselves and will not tolerate any form of social misdeed irrespective of whether the culprit is from the community or not.
Nana Kwodo Twum II, the current Chief of Humjibre