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Title:Refashioning chieftaincy in Ghana: festival dress, corporate sponsorship and new logics of value
Author:Adrover, LaurenISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Ghana
Abstract:Annual festivals in Ghana celebrate the agricultural harvest and commemorate the political authority of local chiefs. Today, multinational corporations such as Guinness, MTN and Vodafone sponsor almost all aspects of festival production. Sponsor participation has transformed festivals into sites saturated with images of commodities and corporate brands. While some chiefs support corporate participation, others deplore sponsors, who they perceive as threatening chiefs' control over the festival arena. A critical medium through which chiefs police and participate in discourses about cultural and political legitimacy is dress: chiefs clothe members of their entourages alternatively in T-shirts with corporate logos and T-shirts with images of chiefs. During festivals, chiefs orchestrate embodied practices to assert new claims to their political authority based on the nobility of their lineage or their participation in global economic networks. Through an exploration of contemporary dress practices, the author argues that what is at stake in corporate-sponsored festivals is the emergence of new logics of value that challenge people to reassess the social and economic relations that underlie the production of political power in Ghana. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French [Journal abstract]