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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Kakube has come to stay': the making of a cultural festival in Northern Ghana, 1989-2015
Authors:Lentz, CarolaISNI
Wiggins, TrevorISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Ghana
performing arts
cultural change
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972016000759
Abstract:In Ghana, cultural festivals, usually initiated and organized by the chiefs, provide public arenas where local and regional political elites voice demands vis-à-vis central government, and where national politicians canvass for support. Festivals offer commercial opportunities, forums to promote 'development', and occasions for entertainment. Yet advocating for 'our own culture' stands out as their very raison d'être, offering a frame for cultural entrepreneurs to organize performances that express and reconfigure local styles of music and dance to fit national formats. In this article, the authors examine such processes of cultural creation for the Kakube Festival in Nandom, a paramount chiefdom in north-western Ghana. They analyse the cultural building blocks and their evolution during the festival's history as well as the context of changing national politics of cultural heritage in which the festival developed. They discuss the invention of a cultural festival to create local alliances and stake claims at the regional and national political level, and how the desire to assert a presence in the national political and cultural arena has transformed the ways in which local culture is defined and presented. They examine the tensions at the heart of such an event, where traditions of chiefly patronage and allegiance meet the requirements of modern political and bureaucratic systems of funding, and the criteria of excellence in cultural performance. Music and dance are essential components and they analyse the evolution and adaptation of these elements alongside the critical path management of the event that has led to its local and national profile. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]