Concepts of aesthetics, appreciation and criticism among indigenous Asante carvers

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Concepts on Aesthetics, Appreciation and Criticism are areas of study in Art education, but unfortunately, they are mostly neglected or mistreated art programmes. Aesthetics as a form of knowledge involving appreciation rind criticism is an important human experience or activity which is carried out not only in an isolated school environment, but in the wider context of the community and the whole universe at large. Aesthetic education is an important vehicle for educational and cultural process which contributes positively to individual and national development. It is in this vein that the writer attempts to research into the indigenous carving of Asante and how it can serve as a source of aesthetic education. This thesis seeks to document arid critically analyze, synthesize and evaluate the concepts of Aesthetics, Appreciation and criticism among indigenous Asante carvers and moreover to use the concepts as a tool to improve the teaching of Art in Ghana. It 18 aimed at educating the general public, students, Art tutors, art educationists, teachers and researchers on the need for creating, producing, critically analysing, clearly understanding and be able to express oneself aesthetically about carved objects. Through the aesthetic education, our cultural heritage could be inculcated into our youth in order to maintain, protect, project, preserve and to modernize it. This study will be valuable and a humble contribution to education in its entirety. The main research method employed is the Descriptive Survey Method. The research tools used are:- questionnaire, Interview and Observation. The scope of the study convered the concepts of Aesthetics, Appreciation and Criticism among Indigenous Asante carvers concentrating on twelve carving centres as sample areas, The production processes an functions of Some selected carved objects have been identified and analyzed. The population of study was 70 carvers of which 21 master-carvers were selected at random using Simple Random Technique. The report is presented in seven chapters as follows:- Chapter one: This is the introductory chapter which deals with the problem and its setting. Chapter Two: The chapter surveys the related literature. Chapter Three: This chapter deals with the general procedure used in getting the research completed. Chapter Four: This chapter expatiates on the background of wood-carving in Asante under which the following sub-headings have been treated: Centres of Production, Tools and Material, Sources of Ideas, Methods of Production, Carved Objects, Intrinsic and Extrinsic va1ue of some selected works produced and the Future prospects of the carving industry. Chapter Five: The Analysis and Interpretation of findings from the field study obtained during the research have been presented in this chapter Chapter Six: Traditional Wood-carving as a source of Aesthetic Education is critically looked at under this chapter. This is the concluding chapter and deals with the summary, Recommendations and Conclusion.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Art Education, 1990