Public Face of Islam in Kumasi

By Gracia Clark




Images

A Dignified Exit

A Dignified Exit

Date: 2012
A rich patron gets an enthusiastic sendoff.
A Trading Family

A Trading Family

Date: 2011
This wealthy woman employs four of her children in her wholesale business.
A Typical Street Corner

A Typical Street Corner

Date: 2009
A major street in a Muslim neighborhood.
All Boys Together

All Boys Together

Date: 2011
Boys at a conservative Eid wearing a wide range of outfits.
An Islamic Public Primary School

An Islamic Public Primary School

Date: 2016
The government approves the standard curriculum provided by both Islamic and Christian affiliated schools, which each add religious subjects.
An Outdoor Sermon

An Outdoor Sermon

Date: 2012
The neighborhood imam preaches from the male end of the court.
Apartment Buildings

Apartment Buildings

Date: 2009
Multistory buildings with stores on the ground floor and street stalls are common in the central city.
Apprentice Tailor

Apprentice Tailor

Date: 2011
Boys can start apprenticeships for tailoring and other crafts in their early teens.
Bagging Goods

Bagging Goods

Date: 2011
At home in her courtyard, this woman divides her goods into plastic bags ready to sell.

Basic Ceremonial Life

Daily and life cycle rituals for Muslims
Blood Drive Supporters

Blood Drive Supporters

Date: 2016
A street march downtown to promote blood donation.
Bodyguards of the Zongo Chief

Bodyguards of the Zongo Chief

Date: August 2011
These red turbans are the insignia of the Zongo Chief's palace guard.
Boy with White Headdress

Boy with White Headdress

Date: 2012
A local boy wears shining white and an Arab headdress for the occasion.
Boys in Headsresses

Boys in Headsresses

Date: 2011
Three boys in gleaming white, wearing variations on Arab headdresses.
Boys with Tomato Boxes

Boys with Tomato Boxes

Date: 2011
These young men receive tomatoes shipped from their native Upper East Region to their group in labeled boxes.
Brass Band

Brass Band

Date: August 2011
A uniformed group singing with their brass band.
Bright Veil

Bright Veil

Date: 2011
Brightly colored sheer lace veils like the white ones are also common.
Brothers and Friend

Brothers and Friend

Date: 2011
Two brothers find a good spot for viewing the parade.
Brothers and Sisters

Brothers and Sisters

Date: 2011
Brothers and sisters in dramatic kohl eye makeup, Arab style.
Buses and Trucks

Buses and Trucks

Date: 2009
Freight trucks and passenger buses waiting to load up on the roadside.
Business District

Business District

Date: 2009
A busy street in the central business district of the Zongo.
Buying Minutes

Buying Minutes

Date: 2009
Roadside stands make prepaid phone cards available all over the city.

Carriers Slideshow

Gracia will write a description.
Central Market Tailor

Central Market Tailor

Date: 2009
A section of the Central Market is devoted to sewing and embroidery of typical Muslim styles for men and women, by men tailors.This young tailor makes men's and women's embroidered outfits, but wears denims himself.
Chicken Vendors

Chicken Vendors

Date: 2011
Street vendors take a rest from the holiday rush.
Chicken for Ramadan

Chicken for Ramadan

Date: 2011
A fishnet keeps these chickens securely inside an aluminum head pan.
Coed Islamic School

Coed Islamic School

Date: 2011
Secondary school classes put boys and girls together in an Islamic public school.
Collecting Bale Straps

Collecting Bale Straps

Date: 2012
A retired bale carrier now collects the discarded strapping for resale.
Community Historian

Community Historian

Date: 2011
A leading community historian
Conservative Women

Conservative Women

Date: 2011
Conservative women and girls at a conservative prayer celebration for Eid Al-Fitr.

Craft Workers Slideshow

Gracia will add one.
Crowd as Chief Approaches

Crowd as Chief Approaches

Date: August 2011
A diverse crowd watches the arrival of a chief.
Crowd of Women

Crowd of Women

Date: 2012
Many women attend the school festival, keeping to one side of the grounds.
Crowded Balcony

Crowded Balcony

Date: August 2011
Even an unfinished balcony on the parade route is full.
Crowds From the Mosque

Crowds From the Mosque

Date: August 2011
Crowds filter back from praying at the Central Mosque before the procession begins.
Cultural Tableau

Cultural Tableau

Date: August 2011
Children show off local produce and clothing, riding in front of a chief with Islamic high style green robe and turban and a companion in wild silk.
Dad and Kids En Route

Dad and Kids En Route

Date: 2011
Very cool Dad with three matching kids in matching festival attire.
Dancing Chief

Dancing Chief

Date: August 2011
Chiefs carried on palanquins or pickups dance to show their vigor and solidarity with onlookers and companions. Note the carpet covering the truck cab.
Daycare Near the Market

Daycare Near the Market

Date: 2009
A childcare group downtown near a main bus stop.
Desert Style

Desert Style

Date: August 2011
The light color and loose, flowing style of these robes offers good protection from heat, sand and drying wind in desert locations.
Dignitaries with Umbrellas

Dignitaries with Umbrellas

Date: 2012
Only some of these honored guests wear the school’s green turban.
Dress Shop

Dress Shop

Date: 2011
Nice dresses and jewelry go together.
Drummers and Dancers

Drummers and Dancers

Date: August 2011
A band of drummers and dancers from the Upper Region accompanying their chief.
Elder Settling Dispute

Elder Settling Dispute

Date: 2011
Learned elders can spend much of their time hearing disputes between local residents, who bring them to be decided according to Muslim principles.
Elderly Chief

Elderly Chief

Date: August 2011
An elderly chief surrounded by his supporters in northern smocks.
Elderly Women Study

Elderly Women Study

Date: 2009
Women elders use their leisure for religious study.
Elders Teaching Islamic Law

Elders Teaching Islamic Law

Date: 2011
A leading local scholar gathers elders to study land law.
Elders in Robes

Elders in Robes

Date: 2011
The traditional three-piece suit, worn here with long turbans wrapped to cover the neck. The turbans of white cotton or colored lace show each elder's position at court.
Embroidered Veil

Embroidered Veil

Date: 2011
Black and dark brown or blue veils can be plain or richly decorated.
Exhibition Dancer

Exhibition Dancer

Date: August 2011
Dancing with his heavy smock shows off the wealth and athleticism of this Upper Region man.

Families Celebrating Slideshow

Date: August 2011
The whole family gathers with delicious food, gifts and new clothes.
Families Gathering

Families Gathering

Date: 2011
All ages of women sit together at prayer; each family brings its own large mats.
Father-son Team

Father-son Team

Date: August 2011
The crowds can make horses nervous, so riding has some danger.
Festival Organizers

Festival Organizers

Date: 2012
School officials wearing their uniforms for the annual commemoration of the school’s founder.
Festival Souvenirs

Festival Souvenirs

Date: 2011
His cart displays sunglasses and other festive items.
Five Friends

Five Friends

Date: 2011
Five young men wear unique variations of a common style.
Following Behind

Following Behind

Date: August 2011
Random onlookers follow behind a chief.
Following the Recitation

Following the Recitation

Date: 2016
This earnest learner brought two books to follow along with the recitation.
Foot Washing Before Prayer

Foot Washing Before Prayer

Date: 2009
Washing feet, hands, and face prepares Muslims for each of there five daily prayers.
Friday Prayer Group

Friday Prayer Group

Date: 2009
This group of men gather on Fridays in a side yard on the grounds of the Central Mosque.
From Own Verandah

From Own Verandah

Date: August 2011
This family can watch the parade passing in front of their house.
Gathering Grass

Gathering Grass

Date: 2016
Fattening cattle in the city requires cutting grass for extra fodder.
Grand Smocks

Grand Smocks

Date: August 2011
This chief and his companions display the most lavish possible examples of hand-woven smocks from the Upper Regions.
Guards with Hats

Guards with Hats

Date: August 2011
This set of guards wears elaborate basketry hats typical of the far north of Ghana.
Hajia Habiba (1)

Hajia Habiba (1)

Date: 2011
Hajia Habiba in her truck parts shop
Hajia Habiba (2)

Hajia Habiba (2)

Date: 2011
Hajia Habiba dressed for heavy work
Hajia Habiba (3)

Hajia Habiba (3)

Date: 2011
Hajia Habiba visiting a friend

Hardworking People Slideshow

Muslims should be honest and hardworking, whatever their occupations.
Hat Variations

Hat Variations

Date: 2011
A plain white robe highlights the political message of the shoulder scarf.
Head Carrier

Head Carrier

Date: 2011
Women also make their living carrying heavy loads on their heads.
Headscarf Variations

Headscarf Variations

Date: 2011
A line of women showing many variations in dress. From right to left: dark cotton print dress and matching head tie with a shoulder scarf; colorful hair beads with a short-sleeved dress printed with Islamic symbols; longer white headscarves showing beaded hair with long-sleeved white robes (2); Yoruba-style starched head tie matching a short-sleeved beige robe; beads  Show More
Home from Shopping

Home from Shopping

Date: 2009
Carrying a bag on the head and a baby on the back is usual In Ghana for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Huge Crowds

Huge Crowds

Date: August 2011
The route in mid-parade, with people watching from houses and unfinished buildings.

Islamic Education Slideshow

Some diverse venues offered to Kumasi Muslims for formal or informal education

Islamic Neighborhoods Slideshow

Some parts of Kumasi are known as predominantly Muslim.
Kids with Style

Kids with Style

Date: 2012
Contrasting styles for these boys; sisters in matching dresses.
Koran Class

Koran Class

Date: 2009
Women gather at a local mosque to study the Koran on Fridays.
Late Arrivals

Late Arrivals

Date: 2012
A family hurries to join the group already starting the prayer.
Learning Zongo History

Learning Zongo History

Date: 2011
A leading elder explains the photographs in the Mossi chief's reception room.
Learning to Pray

Learning to Pray

Date: 2006
A toddler imitates her mother and other women at Friday prayers.
Line of Horsemen

Line of Horsemen

Date: August 2011
Riders in white robes wait for their chief to move on.
Local Scholar

Local Scholar

Date: August 2011
A local scholar arrives from the mosque with his student followers.
Long Green Veil

Long Green Veil

Date: 2011
Three close friends admire their friend's unusually long, opaque veil in a more Middle-eastern style.
Lunch Delivery

Lunch Delivery

Date: 2009
A woman brings cooked food daily for sale to workers in a vehicle repair yard.
Magnificent in Red

Magnificent in Red

Date: August 2011
Scarlet and gold robes and umbrella make these chiefs stand out from the crowd.
Making Mirror Frames

Making Mirror Frames

Date: 2011
This workshop is located near an industrial sawmill, using offcuts to make frames for mirrors.
Malam and his Brother

Malam and his Brother

Date: 2009
This teacher from a local mosque came with his brother to instruct us in the principles of Islam.
Marching in Uniform

Marching in Uniform

Date: 2014
Kumasi Muslims marching in their ethnic group uniforms.
Matching Couple

Matching Couple

Date: 2011
Proper dress for men and women need not vary much.
Men Gather for Prayer

Men Gather for Prayer

Date: 2011
Men gathering for prayer at an Eid observance after Ramadan.
Men Outside their Kiosks

Men Outside their Kiosks

Date: 2009
These men do business from converted shipping containers.
Men Resting

Men Resting

Date: 2014
Men waiting to meet with an elder.

Men Slideshow

A range of dress styles compatible with Muslim identity for men
Milk Vendor

Milk Vendor

Date: 2011
Many vendors of branded snacks rent their equipment from the supplier and only make a commission on sales.
Mobile Cafe

Mobile Cafe

Date: 2011
The coffee company supplies uniforms and carts shaped like their distinctive cans.
Mobile Peddlers

Mobile Peddlers

Date: 2011
These three hawkers with headloads compete with a more established kiosk.
Modern Fashions

Modern Fashions

Date: 2011
These two girls combine conservative veils with shorter dresses in a more European style.
Mossi Chief and Followers at Mosque

Mossi Chief and Followers at Mosque

Date: 2016
The Mossi chief sponsors daily Koran recitation at his mosque during Ramadan.
Mossi and Housa Commentary

Mossi and Housa Commentary

Date: 2016
A local scholar recites from the Koran, translating and explaining in Hausa, after which a younger man translates both into Mossi, a local language.
Most Traditional

Most Traditional

Date: August 2011
This compact delegation includes all the highest status elements: horse, gold umbrella and concealing embroidered robe.
Motorcycle Shop

Motorcycle Shop

Date: 2011
Muslim men predominate in motorcycle and moped sales here.
Neighborhood Chief Arriving

Neighborhood Chief Arriving

Date: 2012
The chief of a Muslim neighborhood arrives for an Eid celebration held at the tennis courts of the Lebanese club.

Neighborhood Eid Slideshow

Date: 2012
Gathering for prayers in a local park on a minor holiday
Neighborhood Imam

Neighborhood Imam

Date: 2012
The neighborhood imam addresses the chief and assembled men.
Neighborly Group

Neighborly Group

Date: 2012
A set of close neighbors and family attend the Eid together.
Nobles with Son

Nobles with Son

Date: August 2011
This noble carries his young son in front of him on the horse. The guard, with the saffron turban, carries a silver spiral lance.
Nobles with Son

Nobles with Son

Date: August 2011
This noble carries his young son in front of him on the horse. The guard, with the saffron turban, carries a silver spiral lance.
Notable Woman

Notable Woman

Date: August 2011
This woman notable arrives in style near the end of the parade.

Notables Slideshow

Date: August 2011
Chiefs and other public figures taking part in the parade
On the Carpet

On the Carpet

Date: August 2011
This chief brought two young attendants onto the carpet with him.
On the Women's Side

On the Women's Side

Date: 2012
The awning and chairs provided for women attending

One Women, Three Contexts

A variety of dress styles Hajia Habiba appropriately wears in public.
Outshining her Truck

Outshining her Truck

Date: August 2011
This notable woman rides on her own rented truck, wearing a flamboyant Yoruba-style headtie.
Packed Crowd

Packed Crowd

Date: August 2011
A crowded street makes crossing difficult during the parade.
Pantsuit with Veil

Pantsuit with Veil

Date: 2012
Although wearing a pantsuit, this young woman veils modestly.
Party Leaders' Photo

Party Leaders' Photo

Date: 2012
In a presidential election year, party campaign materials keep this vendor in business.
Photography Shop

Photography Shop

Date: 2011
Two young men take and process digital photos in their shop.
Political Party

Political Party

Date: August 2011
Prominent political parties display their candidates in the parade.
Postcolonial Helmet

Postcolonial Helmet

Date: August 2011
The ornate green helmet of this chief, like the silver helmet worn by the Zongo Chief, elaborates upon the British colonial pith helmet.
Poster of Mossi Elders

Poster of Mossi Elders

Date: 2016
This poster in a chief’s reception room shows him and his elders.
Power Symbols

Power Symbols

Date: August 2011
These chiefs display symbols of prestige from many sources: the wild silk smocks, the protective bundles containing verses from the Koran, the typically Akan umbrella, Hausa-style embroidery and a cell phone.
Preparing to March

Preparing to March

Date: August 2011
Uniformed members of an ethnic group assemble before joining the parade.
Preschool High Style

Preschool High Style

Date: 2011
Every variety of high style is represented here.

Professions Slideshow

Date: 2011
Gracia will write one.
Proud Father and Sons

Proud Father and Sons

Date: 2011
A taxi driver with his two sons ready for Eid Al-Fitr prayer.
Proud Grandfather

Proud Grandfather

Date: 2011
A grandfather brings his grandsons to pray at Eid Al-Fitr
Proudly Named

Proudly Named

Date: 2006
Her shop sign announces her Muslim faith and gender.
Respected Elder

Respected Elder

Date: 2011
A respected elder in prestigious eyelet lace.
Returning Woman Student

Returning Woman Student

Date: 2006
This woman takes afternoon classes in an Islamic public school after leaving school years ago.
Returning from Prayers

Returning from Prayers

Date: August 2011
After formal prayers and speeches at the Central Mosque, people secure their places on the parade route.
Rich Combinations

Rich Combinations

Date: August 2011
These chiefs combine Islamic talismans with white and embroidered robes over handwoven smocks typical of Ghana's Upper Regions.
Riding in Comfort

Riding in Comfort

Date: August 2011
This dignified woman sits on a mattress made of pillows on the car roof.
Riding the Cab

Riding the Cab

Date: August 2011
This chief wears Islamic colors sitting on a carpet on top of a gold truck.
Roadside Shop

Roadside Shop

Date: 2011
A roadside convenience store with a little of everything.
School Classes in a Home

School Classes in a Home

Date: 2006
This school teaches women both secular and Koranic subjects in a malama’s home.
School Colors

School Colors

Date: 2012
Some young women wearing the school colors.

School Founder's Day Slideshow

Date: 2012
A local Islamic school gathers on their deceased founder's birthday.
School Principal

School Principal

Date: 2011
This man runs a government-certified Islamic public school that includes primary, junior and senior secondary classes.
Schoolgirl

Schoolgirl

Date: 2011
One girl in long-sleeved dress and opaque white veil with a pencil.
Seamstress

Seamstress

Date: 2011
Many seamstresses like this work from kiosks located near their homes.
See and Be Seen

See and Be Seen

Date: August 2011
Two wealthy locals greet each other in their festive attire.
Senior Midwife

Senior Midwife

Date: 2016
As a midwife in a rural district, she sometimes bringing women with labor difficulties to hospital on the back of her motorcycle.
Sharing a Book

Sharing a Book

Date: 2016
The faithful share knowledge as well as food during Ramadan.
Shoemaker Apprentices

Shoemaker Apprentices

Date: 2009
Both Muslim and Asante men make and repair shoes. This shop specializes in recycling uppers from imported secondhand shoes into new styles.

Spectators Slideshow

Date: August 2011
Community members experience the parade.
Standard Veil

Standard Veil

Date: 2011
In this very common style for formal occasions, a middle-aged woman wears a printed cotton log-sleeved blouse with matching skirt and head tie, adding sheer white veil over her head and shoulders.

Store Owners Slideshow

Gracia will write a description.
Street Corner Business

Street Corner Business

Date: 2011
Three occupations in less than ten feet.
Streetside Table

Streetside Table

Date: 2011
Many Muslims sell and buy from simple tables by the sidewalk.
Students Adjusting Their Uniforms

Students Adjusting Their Uniforms

Date: 2012
These boys in special uniforms prepare for a marching display.

Studying Koran Slideshow

Date: August 2011
The Koran was given to Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan.
Tailor and Imam's Son

Tailor and Imam's Son

Date: 2006
This tailor sews and embroiders men's and women's clothing. His father serves as Imam in another Ghanaian town.
Teenage Girlfriends

Teenage Girlfriends

Date: 2012
Teen girls socialize with friends after the prayers.
The Asante Queen Mother

The Asante Queen Mother

Date: August 2011
Representing the Asante royalty on this occasion, the Queen Mother's distinctive patterned umbrella echoes her pink kente cloth.
The Asantehemma's Entourage

The Asantehemma's Entourage

Date: August 2011
Those accompanying the Asantehemma wear Islamic-themed attire.
The Blue Horse

The Blue Horse

Date: 2011
This father carries his son in front like nobles in the parade did on their horses
The Chief's Photographer

The Chief's Photographer

Date: 2012
The Muslim chief of a Kumasi neighborhood poses with his entourage for his own photographer.
The End of the Parade

The End of the Parade

Date: August 2011
As dusk settles and the dignitaries have passed, private and group parties start along the route.
The Headmaster

The Headmaster

Date: 2012
The headmaster of this Islamic school preaches a sermon at their annual festival.
Three Coordinated Chiefs

Three Coordinated Chiefs

Date: August 2011
These three make an impressive appearance in coordinated scarlet and gold robes on richly decorated horses behaving well.
Three Matching Outfits

Three Matching Outfits

Date: 2011
Like many, these three brothers got new matching outfits for Ramadan
Tires for Sale

Tires for Sale

Date: 2011
Lightly used tires displayed in the neighborhood.
Token Veil

Token Veil

Date: 2011
A woman wears her veil on one shoulder, with short sleeves.
Tots in Suits

Tots in Suits

Date: 2011
Western formal dress also appears acceptable at an Eid prayer.

Trading in the Street Slideshow

Public space often provides workspace, especially for traders.
Traditional Brass Pans

Traditional Brass Pans

Date: August 2011
Young girls carry the brass pans containing shea butter and other traditional gifts for the palace.
Traffic Congestion

Traffic Congestion

Date: August 2011
The slow pace of movement often forces delegations to a standstill.
Truck Drivers' Union

Truck Drivers' Union

Date: 2009
This local branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union is predominantly Muslim.
Truck Mechanic

Truck Mechanic

Date: 2009
This man runs a roadside truck repair workshop in a Muslim neighborhood.
Truck Parts Dealer

Truck Parts Dealer

Date: 2006
In her shop on a major road in Magazine, a huge vehicle repair center, she sells double axles, diesel engines and crankshafts.
Turban and Lace

Turban and Lace

Date: August 2011
Elaborate white-and-gold lace over a red car complements a saffron turban that covers most of this chief's head and neck.
Two Men Friends

Two Men Friends

Date: 2012
Men also enjoy dressing well and greeting their friends and neighbors.
Uniform Turban

Uniform Turban

Date: 2011
A man and boy among others with black turbans and gold skullcaps.
Unloading Bales

Unloading Bales

Date: 2012
General stereotypes assume all these load carriers are from the North.
Urban Cattle

Urban Cattle

Date: 2011
Herding, trading and slaughtering cattle in Kumasi are all occupations associated with Muslims, especially Fulani and Hausa.
Veil Shop

Veil Shop

Date: 2012
This young married Muslim sells veils from Dubai, but is not wearing one.
Veiled Trouser Suit

Veiled Trouser Suit

Date: 2011
This woman casually covers her cotton print pantsuit with a long veil.
Veiled Young Women

Veiled Young Women

Date: 2012
These two girlfriends are more particular than average about veiling.
Veiling the Car

Veiling the Car

Date: August 2011
The light cloth under this chief's flowing robe conceals most of the car.
Veils with Attitude

Veils with Attitude

Date: 2012
Three young women with very different styles, but all with an identifiable veil.

Vendors Slideshow

Gracia will write a description.
Visiting Grandma

Visiting Grandma

Date: 2006
Mother brings her young son to visit his grandmother’s market stall.
Walking to the Mosque

Walking to the Mosque

Date: 2011
A family walking together to Friday prayers.
Well Dressed Elder

Well Dressed Elder

Date: 2012
An elder in his fine three-piece suit of blue damask.
Well Dressed Man

Well Dressed Man

Date: 2011
The flowing white sleeveless over robe sets off the heavily embroidered outfit with a well-matched hat.
White and Red Contrast

White and Red Contrast

Date: August 2011
White robes and a red umbrella set these chiefs apart from their attendants.
Woman Teacher

Woman Teacher

Date: 2011
Teacher addressing a coed senior class in an Islamic public school.
Women Going Somewhere

Women Going Somewhere

Date: 2011
A group of women passing by in a Muslim neighborhood.
Women Relatives

Women Relatives

Date: 2014
Sisters and wives of the Mossi chief's household with friends.

Women Slideshow

A range of dress styles that express modesty and Islamic faith
Women Study the Koran

Women Study the Koran

Date: 2009
These women enjoy their opportunity to learn.
Women Studying the Koran on Fridays

Women Studying the Koran on Fridays

Date: 2006
Women attend a weekly Koran study class organized at a suburban public school and mosque.
Women at a Funeral

Women at a Funeral

Date: 2009
The funeral of an aged mother held in the family home and attended by Muslims and Christians.
Women's Class in Yard

Women's Class in Yard

Date: 2009
These women gather on chairs under an awning to study the Koran.
Women's Koran Class

Women's Koran Class

Date: 2006
This women’s class meets Friday in a local mosque to study the Koran.
Women's Section

Women's Section

Date: 2012
Women and girls pray on one side, facing the backs of the men on the other court.
Work Neighbors Pray Together

Work Neighbors Pray Together

Date: 2009
Young men who work in this neighborhood regularly gather for noon prayer inside this roadside shop made from a shipping container.
Young Educated Women

Young Educated Women

Date: 2012
Devout university graduates working on interview translations.
Young Family

Young Family

Date: 2012
A mother dressed up with her baby and young son.
Young Man

Young Man

Date: 2011
Empressive embroidery is as acceptable as the color pink.
Young Men

Young Men

Date: 2009
Young men meet in an informal afternoon discussion group.
Young Scholars

Young Scholars

Date: 2012
Young boys wearing their uniform items creatively.
Young Woman Reads Koran

Young Woman Reads Koran

Date: 2009
All ages study together by reading in unison.
Zongo Chief

Zongo Chief

Date: August 2011
The Zongo Chief in procession with his entourage.
Zongo Chief

Zongo Chief

Date: August 2011
The Zongo Chief in procession with his entourage
Zongo Chief's Horse

Zongo Chief's Horse

Date: August 2011
The multiple layers of the Zongo Chief's costume even cover his horse with lace. The horse and flywhisk are symbols of high prestige connected to the northern savannah.



Interviews

A Spare Parts Dealer

A Spare Parts Dealer

Date: August 26, 2009
"We should take more business, but the money is small. That is why we cannot do what we would like to do."
Muslims Do Not Behave Like That

Muslims Do Not Behave Like That

Date: 2006
"You are supposed to live in mutual respect and kindness with your neighbor, if you have one, whether that neighbor is a believer or a non-believer."
Zacharia and Yakubu Discussion

Zacharia and Yakubu Discussion

Date: September 6, 2009
"As a Muslim, your hands do not bother anyone, your mouth should not hurt anyone, your legs should not bother anyone, don't cheat, don't beat anyone, don't kill anyone, you see, this is what we call Muslim."



Maps

Trade Routes

Trade Routes

Trans-Sahara trade routes linking Medieval Europe to the gold-producing Akan regions towards the southern coast.



Video Footage


Alternative Eid

Date: August 2011
Since the 1970s, a faction has been growing in Kumasi who adhere to more fundamentalist visions of Islam that condemn “unnecessary’’ prayers and rituals added to those prescribed by the Koran. Among those criticized are senior leaders in the Sufi brotherhoods, who offer special blessings and protections to their devout followers. Most of the established famil  Show More

Aluminum Casting

Date: July 2009
Aluminum casting has no logical connection to Islam, but has become an occupation identified with Muslims in Kumasi. Decades ago, the VALCO aluminum refinery at the Volta Dam produced quantities of scrap metal from its smelters and manufacturing processes. Northerners predominated in recycling cardboard, paper, and other metal scrap, so they became expert in recycli  Show More

City Parade

Date: August 2011
Video Footage Scene Comments Start (00:00:00) Families returning from the noon prayer at Kumasi Central Mosque on Eid-al-Fitr, 2011. 00:00:12 The followers of a popular local teacher surround him and his family, as the last vehicles allowed pass. 00:01:16 Note hawkers with head loads and pushcarts as the street clears. Pairs of young men and sets of   Show More

Modern Wedding

Date: March 2012
Weddings are some of the most important family ceremonies in most cultures, and especially for Muslims because their religion calls for relatively simple funerals. In Ghana, as in much of West Africa, the bride and her mother demonstrate and bolster their social status by accumulating an impressive array of cloth and household items which the bride takes to her marit  Show More

Pageant Enacting the Haj

Date: November 2011
Several months before it was time to start on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, members of this mosque in Kumasi who had made the pilgrimage decided to stage this reenactment of the various stages of the ritual, so that those going that year would know what to expect. Since the pageant took place inside the mosque itself, its degree of realism was limited, but the coordin  Show More

Ramadan Class for Bantama Women's Group

Date: September 6, 2009
Mallam Zacharia Rahmen tells two stories. The first is the story of Lot and his wife at Sodom. God sent his angel to warn Lot that he was going to destroy the earth because of the promiscuous behavior going on. He warned Lot to leave with his family and not look back, but when Lot's wife turned around, she turned into a pillar of salt. Mallam uses this story to preach  Show More

Vulcanizer

Date: 2014
Modest craftsmen like this man, who repairs car and truck tires, appear along all the major streets in Kumasi. His main investment is the vulcanizing machine itself, but his reputation for reliable workmanship ensures a steady clientele. Although he and his young son are Muslim work in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, they look no different from other street sid  Show More



Interviews

Not Every Woman Can Do This Work

Not Every Woman Can Do This Work

Date: 2006
"It is only me, a woman selling these double axles here. My family are proud of me as a woman selling this, because it is not easy for some women to learn this trade."
A Secondary School Teacher

A Secondary School Teacher

Date: 2006
"My Mum never gave up."
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