Artistic and Educational Values of Kusakɔ Kɔ Initiation Rites of Avatime in the Volta Region

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The woman is a significant figure in the development of Avatime community. People of Avatime recognize and value the role of women in society and therefore mark the transition of a female from girlhood to womanhood. The problem is that many artistic and educational values are embedded in the celebration of this transition called kusak) k) initiation rites, yet they have not been described, discussed or documented, therefore they could be lost. Moreover, appreciable amounts of vital information embodied in kusak) k) initiation rites are not being taught in the schools of Avatime. Sadly, the rich cultural heritage embodied in the artistic and educational values which should be preserved have not been documented to put the area in the spotlight of the world. This research adopted a qualitative approach, specifically ethnography, to collect data through observation and interviews. The main findings are that, the Avatimes mark the passage of their girls into womanhood by performing series of rituals known as kusak) k). Numerous artistic and educational values are evident in the rituals. Artistic values are demonstrated in the use of ritualized visual and performing arts. Educationally, the performing arts serve as symbols of identity and means of communication. Recommendations were that there should be collaboration between the pastors and the custodians of Avatime traditional area to erase the notion that there are sacrilegious beliefs and superstitions embedded in kusak) k) rites. It is also recommended that more group ritual activities be encouraged and done once a year for school going girls and workers to participate during school holidays and weekend respectively. Control measures should be instituted to curb promiscuity in the area. Finally, it is highly recommended that this document should be incorporated in the Art Education Curriculum to put the values of kusak) k) in the spotlight of the world.
Dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY