A study of selected indigenous Ghanaian women in some indigenous visual arts

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Women historically have played and are still playing enormous roles in the Socio-economic development of art both as visual artists and as themes of art works; but who would know? In Africa and around the world, men get almost all the attention for their creative endeavors. But with the multitude of roles the woman assume in Africa, especially in Ghana, as – mother, housekeeper, cook, water carrier, economic contributor and often sole provider , when would the woman have a chance to make her own artistic statement or voice her concern on this issue? This research work therefore is an attempt to explore, figure out and document some artistic roles, which women play in this age of gender equality and national development; focusing mainly on Selected Indigenous Ghanaian women 1. Pottery and Ceramics, 2. Mural and 3. (Weaving) Basketry. In this light, the researcher attempts to bring to identify and document the traditional roles of some Ghanaian women in selected indigenous Ghanaian visual arts. The study also seeks to investigate the roles, which women are playing in some indigenous visual arts for national development and also examines and discusses the use of women as themes in some Ghanaian arts. Studies such as this one would readers to know the extent to which Ghanaian women are involved in the productions, promotions, and distributions of some major Ghanaian traditional visual arts. This document also plays a very unique role of providing information to scholars, ethnographers, policy makers, art historians, gender activists, sociologists, and women organizations. The information contained in this thesis may be integrated in the developmental plans and actions of the policy makers of this nation, Ghana. It will contribute to knowledge on Gender and Art. The research methods used are the descriptive and analytical survey methods. The research tools employed are: questionnaire, interviews, observation, photography and video recording. The scope of the study has been limited to works produced by selected indigenous Ghanaian women in some indigenous visual arts such as pottery, weaving (Basketry) and Mural Paintings at Kpando, Bolga, and Sirigu. However, a brief mention will be made in comparison with other places where women are involved in the indigenous arts. The final study is presented in six (6) chapters in the following other: Chapter one begins with an introduction – a general commentary of issues on the topic and the background study follows before the problem statement. Then the Objectives, hypothesis, assumption, delimitation, limitation, justification of objectives, statement of purpose, importance of the study, research methodology, definition of concepts, the arrangement of chapters and lastly an ethnographic background of Ghanaian women. The second, Chapter Two, reviews the literature pertinent to the subject of this thesis. References that have a bearing on the topic from available published and unpublished sources were used. Chapter three presents the methodology of the study by giving a background to the geographical study area and the instruments that have been used in gathering information. Chapters Four displays the analyses of data from the field study with a presentation and discussion of major findings; Thus selected Ghanaian women as indigenous potters, mural artists, basket artists and Ghanaian women as themes of some visual arts. The final Chapter, five deals with discussions, summary, and conclusion and recommendations based on the research findings. It is highly recommended that women artists be given all the needed attention in Ghana; since this would go a long way to develop the country socially and economically.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of General Art 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)