In today’s seminar, we are going to talk about how every year an unknown number of children born and how most of them disabled are murdered in Ghana. My focus basically is in the three Northern Regions of Ghana. This is because of the belief and the perception that they are possessed by evil spirits set on bringing ill fortune to the family.
This practice, we are told is very common in the area and is an ancient traditions and customs that is shaped by poverty and ignorance as most of this people lived far away from the City.
The practice is been fought by several organizations including NGO’s and the Ghanaian authorities have tried through advocacy and education in an attempt to eradicate the practice but had a small only a small success.
We are in 2019, and I will be using some inspirational people through sculpture to change perceptions of communities about children born with disabilities. I be using people with disabilities who have defied all odds have made it as a change of perception of people.
As an Artist, I have the belief that art can be a powerful tool to help viewers revaluate the perceptions about children born with Disabilities and their rejection of the notion of old beliefs about disability. My work in the painting and sculpture depict how human Children born with disabilities are and to give insight recognition of those who have disabilities to live a positive live till their death
The paintings, sculpture and ceramic pieces to represent disabilities as a fresh discourse. My art work as I will like to say we should “accept disability as they are as simple reasoning.Viewers will have a first hand experience with the way and manner our society disconnect themselves from children born with disability. In the work is a visible representation of the social thinking about disability. Specifically, as an activist – activist, I want to change change the tradition active in many rural Ghanaian communities of if one dies during a child conception or immediately after child’s birth is classified as one born with evil spirit and the earlier it is killed the better for the family.
The objective is to change the existing notion that surround disability and spirit to change behavior.
ARTIST STATEMENT IN “ASANTI TWI” VERSION
Anweneeὲfoↄ mapa a wↄreko ama mmofra a wad idem wↄ gyedie sὲ anwene ahodoo betumi asesa amanfoo bi nom adwene afiri mmofra a w’di dem afiri wↄn no ho ene pe a won mpe saa ommofra ahwe.
M’anweneὲ yi kyerὲ sὲnea nipa suban teὲ ὲne sὲnea yebὲtumi agye wↄn a wadidὲm no atomu sὲ wↄyὲ nipa tesὲ yὲn ara ama wanya adwenepa de atena ase akↄsi sὲ wↄbefiri wiase.
M’nweneὲ yi gu mu ahodoo mmieὲnsa; nnua deὲ doteὲ deὲ ena nfonin deὲ. Obirara obehunu mensano adwuma yi no begye ato mu sὲ amanfoↄ ne wↄn a wadidὲm no nte no yie koraa. Enti m’nweneὲ no da adi pefee senea nipa bi nsusueὲ te wↄ mmofra wadidὲm no ho teὲ.
Me botaeὲ kὲse ne sὲ saa anweneὲ yi bὲsesa amanfoↄ adwene wↄ mmofra wadi dὲm yi ho. Nipa bi mpo susu sὲ saa mmofra yi yὲ susumbↄne bi na abὲpue abusua no mu enti n ὲnsὲ sὲ yὲma wↄn tena ease.
Mewↄ gyedieὲ sὲ awneneὲ yi bὲboa asesa nipakua bi nsusueὲ bↄne a w’anya fa mmofra a wadidὲm ho na ama yὲn nyinaa ahunu wↄn sὲ wↄyὲ nipa tesὲ yὲn ara.
Twi is not my mother tongue. It is spoken in southern part of Ghana (Ashanti Region) and it is the mother tongue of the Ashanti people of Ghana.
Ghanaians are my twi audience
The last time, I talked about Sankofa and a few symbols from Ghana West Africa . Today, I will be talking more about Adinkra Symbols and will be relating them to Ghana’s culture.
The meaning of cultural symbols are often influenced by a given countries cultural heritage, human relationships or religion.
Adkinkra symbols originate from Ghana in West Africa and are almost always In my last article I briefly touched upon Adinkra and the Adinkra Symbols. After further reflection, I connected with the senses and objects of the world around us. Some originate from nature and others stem from intuitive perception, emotional experience or rational reflection.
In Ghana, since the middle of the 19th century, symbolic meanings in the indegeneouse Art which helped to develop cultural literacy), have been influenced by foreign religions, such as the Christianity and Islamic religions. Ghana is a perfect example of this with 53 primary symbols which are used in everyday life, for example the Gye Nyame which means: ‘Except God (I fear none)’.
Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics, pottery, logos and advertising. They are incorporated into walls and other architectural features. Fabric adinkra are often made by Wood cut sign writing as well as screen printing. Adinkra symbols appear on some traditional Akan gold weight. The symbols are also carved on stools for domestic and ritual use. Tourism has led to new departures in the use of the symbols in such items as T shirts and Jewellery.
The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment. There are many different symbols with distinct meanings, often linked with Proverb The names of the most common symbols are listed below:
- Gyawu Atiko, lit. the back of Gyawu’s head. Gyawu was a sub-chief of Bantama who at the annual Odwira ceremony is said to have had his hair shaved in this fashion.
- Akoma ntoaso, lit. the joined hats.
- Epa, handcuffs. See also No. 16.
- Nkyimkyim, the twisted pattern.
- Nsirewa, cowries.
- Nsa, from a design of this name found on nsa cloths.
- Mpuannum, lit. five tufts (of hair).
- Duafe. the wooden comb.
- Nkuruma kese, lit. dried okros.
- Aya, the fern; the word also means ‘I am not afraid of you’, ‘I am independent of you’ and the wearer may imply this by wearing it.
- Aban, a two-storied house, a castle; this design was formerly worn by the King of Ashanti alone.
- Nkotimsefuopua, certain attendants on the Queen Mother who dressed their hair in this fashion. It is really a variation of the swastika.
- Sankofa lit. turn back and fetch it. See also No. 27.
- Sankofa, lit. turn back and fetch it. See also No. 27.
- Kuntinkantan, lit. bent and spread out ; nkuntinkantan is used in the sense of ‘ do not boast, do not be arrogant ‘.
- Epa, handcuffs, same as No. 3.
- Nkonsonkonson, lit. links of a chain; as No. 44.
- Nyame dua, an altar to the Sky God.
- Agyindawuru, the agyin’s (a tree) gong. The juice of a tree of that name is sometimes squeezed into a gong and is said to make the sound pleasing to the spirits.
- Sepow, the knife thrust through the cheeks of the man about to be executed to prevent his invoking a curse on the king.
- Adinkira ‘hene, the Adinkira king, and ‘chief’ of all these Adinkira designs. See No. 34.
- ‘Fihankra, the circular house.
- Papani amma yenhu Kramo. ‘The (large number of) people who do good prevents us knowing who really are Mohammedans’ (i.e. as adherents of Islam are enjoined to do good works in the community, and increasing numbers of non-Muslims are also doing so, we can no longer use that criterion to distinguish those Muslims living amongst us).
- Mmrafo ani ase, the keloids on a Hausa man.
- Musuyidie, lit. something to remove evil; a cloth with this design stamped upon it lay beside the sleeping couch of the King of Ashanti, and every morning when he rose he placed his left foot upon it three times.
- Nyame, biribi wo soro, ma no me ka me nsa. ‘0 God, everything which is above, permit my hand to touch it.’ This pattern was stamped on paper and hung above the lintel of a door in the palace. The King of Ashanti used to touch lintel, then his forehead, then his breast, repeating these words three times.
- As No. 13.
- Akam, an edible plant (yam?).
- Se die fofoo pe, ne se gyinantwi abo bedie. ‘What the yellow-flowered fofoo plant wants is that the gyinantwi seeds should turn black.’ This is a well-known Ashanti saying. One of the cotton cloth designs bears the same name. The fofoo, the botanical name of which is Biden pilosa, has a small yellow flower, which, when it drops its petals, turns into a black spiky seed. Said of a jealous person.
- Mmra Krado. The Hausa man’s lock.
- Dwenini aben, the ram’s horns.
- Dono ntoasuo, the double dono drums.
- Ma te; Masie, ‘I have heard (what you have said); I have hidden it’; this extols the virtue of being able to keep a confidence.
- Adinkira hene. As No. 2 1.
- Nyame nwu na ma wu, ‘May Nyame die before I die.’
- Hye wo nhye, ‘He who would burn you be not burned.’ See also No. 49.
- Gye Nyame, ‘ Except God (I fear none).’
- As No. 26.
- Ohene niwa, ‘(in) the king’s little eyes’, i.e. in his favour.
- Akoben, the war-horn.
- Kwatakye atiko, lit. at the back of Kwatakye’s head. Kwatakye was a war captain of one of the Ashanti kings; at the Odwira ceremony he is said to have cut his hair after this fashion.
- Akoma, the heart, with a cross in the centre.
- Ohen’ tuo, the king’s gun.
- Same as No. 17.
- Obi nka obie, ‘I offend no one without a cause.’
- Pa gya, to strike fire (with a flint).
- Akoma, the heart.
- Nsoroma, lit. a child of the Sky, i.e. a star, referring to the saying: Oba Nyankon soroma te Nyame so na onte ne ho so,’ Like the star, the child of the Supreme Being, I rest with God and do not depend upon myself.’
- Hye wo nhye. ‘He who would burn you, be not burned.’ This pattern was on the King of Ashanti’s pillow.
- This, I was informed, was a new design copied from Europeans.
- Kodie mmowerewa, the eagle’s talons.
- Dono, the dono drum.
- Akoko nan tia ‘ba, na nkum ‘ba, ‘A hen treads upon chickens but does not kill them.
Along with the different symbols, there are also said to be up to 75 different languages (or dialects) in Ghana, however each group’s cultural heritage is linked with religion.
Sadly, in recent years most original Ghanaian religious symbols have been for goten and the symbolic meanings and signs within the Indigenous Ghanaian Arts have become lost in most cases, but there is to keep Ghana’s indigenous, artistic, expression alive, awareness creatio of Ghana’s cultural literacy lives through our branding and teaching people of all backgrounds about Ghana’s cultural symbols and images through our creations, providing custom handmade pieces that can be enjoyed by people who value not only African culture but unique, colourful and the finer things in life as well.
Reference Arhinarmah 2013.
This week, the Sankoa symbol of the Adinkra symbols of Ghana my country in West Africa has rich cultural symbols.
I am presenting this week and for my presentation, I have ask the Sankofa bird to go back to Ghana and bring some of the cultural symbol of the Ashanti in Ghana as you can see the symbol of the Sankofa bird.
Sankofa is a word in Twi language of Ghana that translates as “Go back and get it” San – to return; Ko – to go; Fa to fetch
THE SANKOFA BIRD
I feel so happy be here and to work with friendly people. The class is very interactive as everybody is free to share some ideas. I am prepared to learn new things. This is a kind of lovely class with lovely people and i am so happy to be here.