The Cultural and Aesthetic Significance of Motifs on Selected Asante Temples

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Asante temples are small edifices built over one or two hundred years ago to house the shrines of some of the deities of the Asante. They are adorned with beautiful motifs which tell a lot about the culture of the Asante. But the lack of adequate and comprehensive studies on them has kept them away from the public. This study therefore studies the history of selected Asante temples and the cultural and aesthetic significance of their motifs. In order to achieve the objectives of this study, the researcher used the qualitative research method. The primary sources of data of the study were interviews and observation. They were carried out at the villages where the temples are located. The researcher selected some people from the villages where the temples are who could provide him with the primary data and consulted them for the data. He also contacted some scholars of Asante culture for the primary data. The secondary data was obtained from books and the internet. The motifs tell a lot about the religious beliefs and social norms of the Asante. They also reveal a lot about symbolism in Asante art and serve as decorations on the temples. They symbolise concepts and beliefs personified in human and animal forms and geometric shapes. The findings go to confirm the theory that African, and for that matter Asante, arts are influenced by the culture (believes, practices, notion of beauty and world view) of the people. The arts are also used to send symbolic, social and religious messages to the people.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Art in African Arts