Documentation of the lives and works of four traditional woodwork artists in Ghana: A resource for teaching and learning in the Senior High School.

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Research has been made and proved that wood is sculpturally classified as hard or soft in Ghana. Woodwork is one of the vocations people or the youth should embark on, for wood is the major raw material that abounds in Ghana. In Ghanaian education, the Junior High and the Senior High Schools, unfortunately have not received much attention, because the textbooks and other reference books to teach to subject with are not available and the few ones available too are foreign ones. For that matter, it is making the vocation unpopular among the youth, yet in the country are many woodwork artists, some of whom are very skilful, and well experienced. They exhibit many skills, which have not been written down to make the knowledge available to the public. Interesting works are found in the Ghanaian markets, which are far different than the rest, especially the foreign ones. Most of these interesting artefacts have been produced by experienced craftsmen. It means vital information about skilful Ghanaian woodwork artists is not available to the youth and other people who might want to take up carving as their profession. Therefore, after their demise, the information will be no more and it will be impossible for the youth to learn the trade and the tradition in woodcarving is lost. The researcher employed the descriptive research method to describe the lives and works of these four Ghanaian woodwork artists. The purposive sampling was used to select the respondents for this thesis. The purposive sampling was used to select the four woodwork artists because they will provide more and better information on the subject understudy. These woodwork artists attach much importance to their finished works, which makes their works very unique. These woodwork artists are all creative, hardworking and responsible. It is also revealed that woodwork is very lucrative and a vocative that woodwork in general is very lucrative and a vocation that does not required any huge capital to begin it. The research, which intends to address this problem, is on the lives and works of four Ghanaian woodwork artists. These artists are Adu-Boahen Kwabena, a Middle School Certificate holder, who lives in Kumasi and works at the Centre for National Culture. Nana Asabre Bempo, is a Secondary School graduate. He lives in Aburi and works at the Aburi Industrial Centre. Abusuampe Eric Kumah is a Secondary School graduate. He lives and works at Dzoanti. Benjamin Kossi Agbo is a Middle School Certificate holder who lives and work s at Vakpo. Although, these artisans have different working environments and different educational levels, they have all proved in their own capacity that, they are very skilful, competent, and creative. Woodwork can be done by anybody, provided one has the interest. The person can be educated, or not educated; male or female. Woodwork artists must have a broad knowledge of a wide range of wood works before being specialized, to avoid limitation in production. They must be creative, to be able to produce unique works that will favourably compete with the local ones in the market and the foreign ones. The artists must be hardworking, stable and responsible. To reduce unemployment, the government of Ghana as well as N.G.Os should establish vocation centres in every district to accommodate the unemployed youth into the carving industry through the poverty alleviation funds; since woodwork does not require much money to start. Wood products courses should be introduced in all Vocational, Senior High, Teacher Training, Polytechnics and Universities where art courses are offered, so as to expose most of the youth the vocation. Government N.G.Os and stakeholders in the woodcraft industry must assist in providing conducive working facilities for these craftsmen, such as organized modern workshops and accessories to facilitate their production.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS in Art Education,211