Ghanaian Indigenous Sculpture through the Ghanaian Cultural Lens

Authors

  • Martin Adi-Dako Faculty of Cultural and African Studies (CeCASt), College of Art and Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. Email: matinadidako@gmail.com His research interests include; Visual Culture, Technology in Education, African Art, 3D Design and Animation, Video Technology, Shooting and Editing, Sound Engineering and Music Technology.
  • Emmanuel Antwi Department of Painting and Sculpture, Faculty of Fine Art, College of Art and Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18533/journal.v3i11.599

Keywords:

Appreciation, Characteristics, Figurine, Proportions of significance, Sculpture.

Abstract

This paper deals with the general characteristics of sculpture produced in the traditional society by the different ethnic groups living in what is today known as Ghana. This is necessary to give an anthropological perspective in appreciation to help those foreign to the culture to appreciate and relish the works of art just the same way a Ghanaian will do. This is also necessary for sculpture particularly, because it is a major art form that influences the works of most Ghanaian artists as compared to the other art forms such as pottery, textiles or painting. A good appreciation of traditional sculpture then opens one’s eyes to contemporary Ghanaian art as well. We use empirical research method to source for answers to questions usually asked by newcomers to Ghana about traditional sculpture. This knowledge or information comes by means of direct or indirect observation or experience with sculptors and users of the forms from different and diverse ethnic groupings in the culture. What is termed as ‘General Characteristics’ are just helpful but apt answers to real questions normally asked by foreigners seeking to make something out of their new experiences with Ghanaian traditional art. We also find that the consistent conformity of the traditional artist, does not spell a limitation in creativity, but does rather reveal the sophisticated and creative sensibilities that evolved and pervade the art of the various ethnicities. We guide an exercise to help understand a Ghanaian sculpture towards the end of this paper.Adam, L. (1949). Primitive art, Penguin Books Ltd, London, p. 109.Antubam, K. (1963). Ghana’s heritage of culture, Koehler and Amelang, Leipzig, P. 91.Barnes, A. C. (1928). Primitive negro sculpture and its influence on modern civilisation. Radio address on Opportunity Magazine Program Over Station WABC Steinway building, N.Y., March 22.Berzock, K. B. and Christa C. (2011). Representing Africa in American art museums. Seattle & London: University of Washington Press. pp. 3–19Coombes, A. E. (1997). Reinventing Africa: Museums, material culture and popular imagination in late Victorian and Edwardian England (2nd pr ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300068905Dogbe, B.K. (1977). “The human form as a central theme in art” in Image (Journal of the College of Art), Kumasi. p. 89.Fagg, W. and Plass, M. (1964).  African sculpture, Studio Vista, London, p 42.Leiris, M. and Delange, J. (1969).  African art, Thames and Hudson, London, p. 8.Nwoko, D. (1977).  The aesthetic of contemporary African art and the public (Seminar on the contemporary arts in Ghana) Legon, p. 10, 11.Sarpong, K. (1974). Ghana in retrospect, Ghana Publishing Corporation, Accra, p. 104.Segy, L. (1958). African sculpture, Dover Publications Inc., New York, p. 27.Segy, L. (1969). African sculpture speaks, Decapo Press Inc., New York, p. 81.Thompson, R. F. (1963).  African art in motion, University of Califonia Press, Los Angeles, p. 20.Trowell, M. (1970). Classical African sculpture, Faber and Faber, London, P. 25.Vansina, J.  (1985). “Primitivism” in 20th century art: Affinity of the tribal with the modern. p. 17.Vansina, J. (1987). Art history in Africa, an introduction to method, Longman Group Limited, London.

References

Adam, L. (1949). Primitive art, Penguin Books Ltd, London, p. 109.

Antubam, K. (1963). Ghana’s heritage of culture, Koehler and Amelang, Leipzig, P. 91.

Barnes, A. C. (1928). Primitive negro sculpture and its influence on modern civilisation. Radio address on Opportunity Magazine Program Over Station WABC Steinway building, N.Y., March 22.

Berzock, K. B. and Christa C. (2011). Representing Africa in American art museums. Seattle & London: University of Washington Press. pp. 3–19

Coombes, A. E. (1997). Reinventing Africa: Museums, material culture and popular imagination in late Victorian and Edwardian England (2nd pr ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300068905

Dogbe, B.K. (1977). “The human form as a central theme in art” in Image (Journal of the College of Art), Kumasi. p. 89.

Fagg, W. and Plass, M. (1964). African sculpture, Studio Vista, London, p 42.

Leiris, M. and Delange, J. (1969). African art, Thames and Hudson, London, p. 8.

Nwoko, D. (1977). The aesthetic of contemporary African art and the public (Seminar on the contemporary arts in Ghana) Legon, p. 10, 11.

Sarpong, K. (1974). Ghana in retrospect, Ghana Publishing Corporation, Accra, p. 104.

Segy, L. (1958). African sculpture, Dover Publications Inc., New York, p. 27.

Segy, L. (1969). African sculpture speaks, Decapo Press Inc., New York, p. 81.

Thompson, R. F. (1963). African art in motion, University of Califonia Press, Los Angeles, p. 20.

Trowell, M. (1970). Classical African sculpture, Faber and Faber, London, P. 25.

Vansina, J. (1985). “Primitivism” in 20th century art: Affinity of the tribal with the modern. p. 17.

Vansina, J. (1987). Art history in Africa, an introduction to method, Longman Group Limited, London.

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Published

2014-11-29

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