A Visual Documentation of Selected Akan Myths

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Social interactions have given proof to the many assertions and conclusions of both traditionalist, and academics of the receding nature of appreciation for the countless traditional precepts that define the Akan individual, in recent times. The study aims at giving greater insights and clarity to perceptions and attitudes surrounding the phenomenon, most importantly to provide a working document which can be used by cultural educators, researchers and other stakeholders in the field. Topics explored and reviewed includes, the field of mythology, its concept, and significance, also a comparative examination of some key Asante traditional symbols in relation to design thinking for illustrations. These topics were in line with the research objectives of; a) identification and description of myths, b) classification of diverse Akan myths c) creating visual illustrations of selected myths based on themes that emerge from findings. The phenomenological approach to research employed enhanced the depth of data retrieved from respondents as it dictates a flexibility and adaptive nature of the researcher in the exploration of the subject under study. The accessible population included community members and traditional leaders all within notable indigenous communities, made possible and effective through the purposive sampling methods used. The study revealed that Akans are highly spiritual people and this reflects in their mythical beliefs that influence their customs and practices; as it is relevant in some communities today. Five classifications of myths were identified: 1) myths about death and the afterlife, 2) myths about protection and social governance, 3) myths about births and children, 4) myths about gods and tutelary spirits, and 5) myths about creatures and beings. Further studies can be conducted into the individual categories of myths identified in addition to developing abstract visual documentation of the myths discussed in this study.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Educational Innovation in Science and Technology, Faculty of Art, College of Art and Built Environment in partial Fulfillment of the requirements for the degree MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY