The Bead Culture among the Krobo of Ghana

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The problem of this study was that, although Krobo have been associated with bead use over along period, the relevance of this tradition to the contemporary social, cultural, religious, economic and political life of the people has not been assessed especially within the context of globalization. The objectives of the study therefore is to appraise the existence of the legendary bead culture among the Krobos of Ghana with the view to assessing its relevance within the contemporary culture of the people and its readiness to face the challenges of the day and also its preparedness for the future especially within the context of current trends of globalization. Qualitative research methodology was adopted in this study. These included mainly descriptive, explanatory in addition to quasi- experimentation as well as correlation. Observation, questionnaire, and interview were the main data collecting instruments used. Data from both primary and secondary sources were gathered from observations, interviews and questionnaire served to individuals. Others were from books, magazines, newspapers, and the internet. The research found that there is a vibrant bead culture among the Krobo of Ghana, and that the youth are actively involved in it, contrary to the thinking that, the youth are not very active in the bead-culture. It is also evident that the role of the bead in the contemporary social, cultural, religious, economic and political life of the Krobos is enormous and that the influence of post modernity and the availability of other gems for aesthetic and other uses, could not wipe away the bead as the main jewellery of the Krobos. The research question, ‘is there a vibrant contemporary bead-culture among the Krobo of Ghana’, has thus been proven. It was discovered that, apart from bottles (glass) and ceramic dyes, the major tools and other complementing materials are all locally accessed. There is further evidence that despite the wastefulness that exists now in the industry, there is a future for both the bead culture and the bead industry not only among the Krobos, but the whole of Ghana given the degree of foreign tourists’ interest. It has been suggested that the necessary logistics and assistance be given to the local bead industries in terms of state/ private investment. In addition, through the more visible use of the bead by the traditional authorities as well as a conscious establishment of a promotional bead day celebration would all go a long way in boosting the bead culture and industry. As a way forward, a number of suggestions were made. Among these, is the need for Traditional and the District Assemblies to promote education of the youth on the bead culture as a way of sustaining their interest.
A Dissertation 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 Doctor of Philosophy (Art Education)