Celebrating African Arts

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Generations-old stories about traditional leaders among the Èwè of Ghana continue to inform contemporary culture and shape the leaders’ understanding of what their roles should be. This performance art form serves to remind leaders and community members of their shared humanity and needs while providing a moral education for the community. These stories are artistic renderings of Èwè values and norms, which guide leaders to use the collective wisdom to perform and transform small town life into vibrant, satisfactory, modern communities. From 2016–2018, the Ohio State ATI Ghana Research and Education Abroad teams collected stories and proverbs and conducted personal interviews with Èwè traditional leaders and townspeople. Using primary sources, this study documents the changing role of the traditional leaders and how the perception of Èwè subjects has evolved using storytelling as an entry point for viewing the Èwè culture.