Events Involving Music

An outdoor procession celebrating the enstoolment of a new chief with umbrellas and banners
A procession celebrating the enstoolment of a new chief

While many of the documentations of Fante music genres presented in the “Spheres of Music Making” section of this site were made at specially arranged sessions for my research project, I was able to document, mostly on video tape, components of four unsolicited events involving musical performance–two funerals, the enstoolment of a chief, and a community-wide festival of thanksgiving. Each of these events was multifaceted and unfolded over several hours or days, in multiple locations, and sometimes while on the move. As a cultural outsider, I wasn’t even allowed to attend certain components of some of these events. It was simply impossible for me to take in, much less document, all the symbolic actions, musical or otherwise, that contributed to these events. At best, these four events as presented here are my reconstructions of them based on what I took in from my vantage point within the complex realities of these spontaneously unfolding and, for me, totally new experiences. However, they should serve to convey to you some sense of the rich texture of symbolically meaningful verbal, spatial, musical, kinetic, sculptural and visual gestures that are drawn upon by the Fante of Anomabu as they affirm, explore, and celebrate their collective identity and shared lifeways.

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