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Author Ross, Mariama
Title Symbols of identity: Akan art in the popular culture of Ghana and its educational implications
book jacket
Descript 293 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-02, Section: A, page: 0427
Chair: Enid Zimmerman
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Indiana University, 2000
This study looked at how indigenous culture influences and impacts contemporary arts, popular culture, and education within its native setting, and how knowledge of context can inform multicultural art education outside the setting. From fields of semiotics and anthropology, I formulated an approach using symbols as a language and I examined current applications of traditional culture in Ghana. Using the focus of traditional Akan Adinkra and kente symbols, I examined the motives of artists whose work includes these symbols, and their function in clothing, media, and advertising in contemporary Ghana. Additionally, I investigated how Ghana's school system teaches indigenous art forms. Research methodologies used in this study were drawn from ethnographic, qualitative inquiry methods. Data was collected through unstructured interviews with artists, art educators, consumers of popular culture, participant observations in schools and community events. Review of media and documents related to arts in schools and community life, including curricular materials, publications about Ghanaian culture, newspapers, television, and radio also were used. Interpretations were made from a content analysis
Findings revealed that artists adapt and reinterpret ancient symbolic images in their work to make direct and indirect statements about current issues. Local understanding of traditional symbols has waned, but is increasing due to interest from the West resulting in increased markets, and for which the images have been appropriated by corporate entities promoting a variety of commercializations. Ghana's schools do not consistently teach local arts for reasons based in its post-colonial circumstances. These reasons include the Euro-centric focus of its inherited British educational system and curriculum, as well as the rise of Christianity and declining indigenous religions. Documentation was done of instances of local arts being taught
Implications and recommendations are made for multicultural and global art education practice and research in Ghana and the United States. They include authentic teaching materials and enhanced study using conceptual-contextual instructional approaches
School code: 0093
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 62-02A
Subject Education, Art
Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Alt Author Indiana University
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