Stool Regalia of the Dwaben State of Asante (Ghana): Relevance to Art Education.

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Stool regalia of traditional Ghanaian societies ruled by kings and chiefs are an indispensable part of these societies. They reveal notable aesthetic and symbolic expressions of cultures, their religious beliefs and practices, ideals, social organizations and wealth. In Asante, stool regalia play momentous role in the life of their traditional leadership institutions and political systems and accentuate their status and authority. Asante stool regalia are characterized by the use of a variety of royal art forms that are both functional and symbolic. They have several cultural undertones that need to be understood by contemporary societies. A study conducted on a selected number of stool regalia of the Dwaben state of Asante revealed their philosophical, socio-cultural, symbolic expressions as well as outstanding aesthetic qualities and values. These knowledge need to be transmitted to the youth as a way of educating and preserving the Dwaben heritage. Their stool regalia convey historic facts about the state derived from several Asante proverbs, expressions and symbols represented by anthropomorphic and zoomorphic forms. Primary data on the stool regalia were gathered from a sampled population from the Dwaben Traditional Area with a few from secondary sources. They were validated for their authenticity. Data gathered at the research sites (Dwaben, Bonwire, Manhyia, Ahwia, and Adum Nsuo Ase), were assembled, analyzed and interpreted, and forms the basis of discussions in Chapter Five. A few attribute variables are translated into bar charts for analyses of results. Conclusions and recommendations based on findings of the study are provided. Data on indigenous knowledge of the Dwaben stool regalia could serve as resource materials to promote indigenous arts education in the country. The excellent photographs and the accompanying scholarly information would be of interest to art students, art educators and researchers. Results of the research could enhance the study of Asante and Akan royal art forms in schools and colleges within Ghana.
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 in Art Education on April, 2010.