The Asafo of Ghana: A Life History of an Asafo Flag Dancer
Monday, September 10, 2012
GVSU Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall, Allendale Campus
Amy Masko, assistant professor of English at Grand Valley State University, was awarded a Fullbright Fellowship in 2009-10 to conduct research and teach at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, West Africa.
This ethnographic photography exhibition is one aspect of her research project investigating contemporary Ghana through the life of Nana Otu, a young Fraanketanyi, and a flag dancer in Asafo No. 1 Company in Cape Coast, Ghana. Historically the Asafos served as militia groups. Today the groups perform exclusively as part of spiritual rituals.
The photographs illustrate the life of the Asafo. The exhibit highlights the Fetu Afeye Festival, a harvest festival held in Cape Coast every August. The Asafo play a significant role in this festival, holding spiritual rituals to bless the lagoon for bountiful fishing, burning cleansing fires to clear negative spirits, and holding drumming rituals to communicate with the ancestors.
This exhibit continues through September 19. For more information, contact the GVSU Art Gallery at 616-331-2563.