The H]M]W] festival in Accra: its artistic and other cultural aspects

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The prime motivation of this research stems from the fact that the artistic and other cultural aspects of the H]m]w] festival are almost completely overlooked when it comes to the analysis and appreciation of the festival. This situation therefore creates a fertile ground for the study of the celebration and the artistic and other cultural aspects of the festival to be brought to light. Furthermore, the festival is annually celebrated in pomp and pageantry as it embodies various forms of art, it has shown a remarkable capacity for survival in spite of socio-cultural influences. During its celebration the arts of the people are displayed, however, the youth or most people who participate, observe and read about the festival may not know the philosophies of the various rites and also the significance of the arts and other cultural values involved in the celebration of the festival. Since the origin of the H]m]w] festival is actually based on oral tradition, it paves way for critical interviews and in-depth observation of the celebration. This resulted in the use of the descriptive methods of research for the thesis. Data was collected through observation and from respondents through the distribution of questionnaire. Eighty respondents were interviewed. The celebration of the H]m]w] festival involves the entire Ga ethnic group in Accra and involves a great deal of arts. The arts are actively and inseparably interwoven in the festival. Environmental Arts, Performing Arts, Body Arts and Verbal Arts play a predominant role in the celebration of the H]m]w] festival. In this light, the celebration of the H]m]w] festival can be regarded as a means of unifying the arts of the Ga people, because it is the occasion whereby the citizens have the opportunity to display their art in all forms and shades. Although the celebration of the festival is of religious significance, there are other cultural components that are established during and after the celebration. There are the social aspects of the celebration, the political aspects, the economic aspects and finally the festival serving as a medicine to the celebrants. The researcher recommends that future researchers of the H]m]w] festival should direct their research to the artistic and other cultural aspects of the festival. Nevertheless, with regards to the celebration and the philosophies behind the celebrations, there are some other aspects of information to be unearthed. In conclusion, the celebration is an enjoyable one and involves a great deal of art which is enveloped with other cultural aspects of the festival. That is, though the festival is a conglomeration of numerous aspects of the culture of the Ga people, it is preponderantly artistic.
A dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY(African Art and Culture),2009