Celebrating African Arts

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  • Title: Celebrating African Arts: How Traditional Leader Stories, Narratives, and Proverbs Inform Contemporary Ghanaian Life
  • Author(s): D. Rose Elder, Nathan Crook, Jessica Crook, Kayla Walls
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts
  • Keywords: Storytelling, Proverbs, Traditional Leaders, Servant Leadership, Èwè
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2326-9960 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2104 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v14i03/1-17
  • Citation: Elder, D. Rose, Nathan Crook, Jessica Crook, and Kayla Walls. 2019. "Celebrating African Arts: How Traditional Leader Stories, Narratives, and Proverbs Inform Contemporary Ghanaian Life." The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts 14 (3): 1-17. doi:10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v14i03/1-17.
  • Extent: 17 pages

Abstract

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.