Create a response to both of the paragraphs on weather you agree with it or not and why? Explain your thoughts in one paragraph for both.
(1) The Akan people used Art in various different ways. One of the most prominent ways however, was to display the leadership and power of the chief. According to the chapter, the heads of state known as the “chiefs”, “paramount chief”, or “kings” were normally studded in jewelery and other garments to display their power. They would wear rings on every finger and heavy garments. They also wore many beaded necklaces and bracelets along with amulets and gold castings on hats and other clothing . Also, raised platforms such as sandals, footrests, stools, and chairs were used to “isolate rulers and give them prominence” . Lastly, in less centralized Akan societies, the chapter states that control may be exerted by a “council of elders” The Akan also made use of what is now known as the visual and verbal nexus. This simply refers to the interaction of visual motifs and verbal expression. For example, a spiral motif symbolizing a ram’s horn used in Akan art calls forth the proverb: “Slow to anger, but unstoppable when aroused”. Similarly, a ladder motif (usually worn on funerary clothing) implies the proverb: “Everyone climbs the ladder of death” meaning death is inevitable. Cast gold jewelery can also have motifs with symbolic meanings. For example, A casting of a crocodile eating a mudfish implies the proverb “When a crocodile gets a mudfish, it does not deal leniently with it” which is a tribute to the power of the chief. European culture has had a huge influence on educational academies.The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology actually integrated European teachings of art into their own lesson plan. This alone shows how much of an impact European art and culture had on certain parts of Africa. As for the development of traditional and contemporary funerary art forms among the Akan people, there are multiple funerary arts that have been “modernized” in order to keep up with changing cultured. For example, cement memorial sculptures have been used in place of the traditional terra cotta sculptures that have been used many years ago. Also, in the 1970’s a carpenter in Ghana began constructing and selling fancy coffins opposed to traditional ones. Lastly, other sculptures of animals that were traditionally used at Akan funerary ceremonies were also later constructed out of cemen.
(2) The Akan community is widely known for its rich culture of artistic culture which include the sculpture, their gold weights, textiles and their gold and silver jewelry. Through the use of art the leadership of their chiefs is affirmed. The Mponponsu which is the most important sword in the kingdom translates to responsibility. This indicates the responsibility given to the chief by his people. The golden stool commonly known as the SikaDwa is another important tool in the Akan community. The stool is the supreme symbol of the kingdom and it is perceived to house the soul of the entire Akan Kingdom. The DweteKuduo which is a silver casket is perceived to have gold dust. The casket is presented over to the incoming chief during the installation ceremony and sits on the right hand of the chief when he is one the states. The term verbal-visual nexus describes the way text and the artistic images work together to create a visual-verbal information. These may represent a symbol of an artistic work which represents a proverb with a complex viewpoint. The gold sword ornament portrays the hen with her chicks, this represents the proverb “the hen steps on her chicks not to hurt them, but to correct their behavior”. The ornate wooden staff with a man holding an egg evokes the proverb “to rule is like holding an egg in the hand; if it is pressed too hard it may break, also if the egg is held loosely it may slip and smash on the ground.in case a chief raised a hand and then turns his wrist for attention with his gold ring inform of a fish maybe remind the people of the Akan proverb, “when a fish is out of water it dies, same as a king without followers as he will cease to exist.” The European culture played a significant role in the growth of the Asafo, when the Europeans landed in the Akan kingdom, they played the divide and rule strategy. This led to the different Asafo to fight each other through which they learned how to coordinate and manage their attack in an organized manner. In times when the Europeans wanted the military assistance of the Asafo, they united them in a single strong army. The availability of many states in the region gave room for the European to exploit them, each state had its own Asafo thus the Europeans could easily fight the different states against each other. They were also organized in efficient military units which made it easy for the Europeans to use them to fight any external threat. The European arrival especially the British and the Dutch led to the growth of educational facilities. The use of lions in the flags and art of the Akan was brought by the British as they had a lion in their royal arms and even ships. This led to the development and growth of educational academies thus facilitating the growth of European culture in the kingdom. The Akan believed that the spirit of the dead will still affect the lives of the living relatives depending on how they treated him/her. Thus it was important to have the best send-off to the dead. The people believed that the dead had the same desires as like money, food, and even clothing. They were responsible for enabling that the souls of the dead are at peace to prevent cursing and bad luck. The orphans were provided with Awisiado which was a necklace during funerals. Although view things have changed over time, the respect given to the dead is an important factor in the cultural rituals of the Akan.