Documentation of the Fante Asafo flags since the year 2000 and their socio-cultural significance

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The absence of appropriate documentation in some societies has led to the loss of vital information or adulteration of very important data. The Cape Coast Asafo Companies have suffered this unfortunate fate with respect to their Asafo flags. Whiles few Cape Coast Asafo flags have been documented without written information on their significance, many have not been recognized at all. It was clear from the research that the rate at which the Asafo flags are commissioned has reduced significantly due to the fact that there is high level of poverty among the Asafo members. Others decline to such positions because of financial commitment that goes with the position of Safohene. Some custodians of the flags could not give dates on which some flags were commissioned, the name of Safohene who commissioned a particular flag and even the social and cultural interpretation of some vital symbols in some of the Asafo flags commissioned in the pre- and post-independence. Interviews were used to obtain historical background of the Asafo flags from the chiefs, custodians and the Asafo members. The flags were then observed for detailed description and analysis. The research revealed that a greater number of the indigenes of Cape Coast were aware of the Asafo flag but were unable to interpret their significance whiles others would not like to be associated with them due to the perception that they are fetish. There was no written documentation of the flags in all the Asafo posts visited. It is recommended that the flags of Cape Coast Asafo companies be properly documented for posterity. An endowment fund be instituted as a matter of urgency to support the Asafohene and the management of their respective Asafo activities.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for degree of Master of Arts in African Art and Culture