Visual Archaeology Interpretation



Asafo Akwambo, Ghana and Igbo, Benue Performers of Nigeria

The path has crossed the river
The river has crossed the path
Who is the elder?
The path has crossed the river
The river has cross the path
We made the path and found the river
This river is from long ago
Truly the river is from
The Creator of the Universe.

Akan Poem

Grade Level 3-12
Art • Geography • History • Language Arts

Different cultural and ethnic groups have their own festivals. These festivals can reveal some common features and beliefs of the culture. Art is often used to perpetuate traditions and customs of a culture. Today the Asafo and its annual festivals provide a great incentive for creativity among all artists. These festivals promote the essential meaning of African art-art for functional sake; not for art's sake. Asafo give the artists a means to use the arts functionally. The peoples of Ghana have evolved various rites and rituals for all the important events in life. There are the rites of child naming, of puberty and initiation, and of marriage and death. But far more important than these rituals, which are performed only by the little family or clan circle, are the annual and seasonal festivals, which bring together the whole people of a town, and even a whole clan. One important festival of the Fante people along the coast of Ghana is the Akwambo or Path-Clearing Festival. Path-Clearing has been with the Akan ever since they set out on their long journey coastward from the desert north. This fact has been recorded in one of the most beautiful traditional poems in Akan.

Asafo Flags of Abandze and Kormantze: A Discourse Between Rivals

Playful Performers



For the Sake of Art

















voices index

Copyright ©2004 Linda Kreft