Public Face of Islam in Kumasi

By Gracia Clark

Notables Slideshow

View SlideShow
Zongo Chief
View Full Record

The Zongo Chief in procession with his entourage

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Bodyguards of the Zongo Chief
View Full Record

These red turbans are the insignia of the Zongo Chief's palace guard.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
Zongo Chief's Horse
View Full Record

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.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
Magnificent in Red
View Full Record

Scarlet and gold robes and umbrella make these chiefs stand out from the crowd.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Dancing Chief
View Full Record

Chiefs carried on palanquins or pickups dance to show their vigor and solidarity with onlookers and companions. Note the carpet covering the truck cab.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Power Symbols
View Full Record

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.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
Turban and Lace
View Full Record

Elaborate white-and-gold lace over a red car complements a saffron turban that covers most of this chief's head and neck.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Desert Style
View Full Record

The light color and loose, flowing style of these robes offers good protection from heat, sand and drying wind in desert locations.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
White and Red Contrast
View Full Record

White robes and a red umbrella set these chiefs apart from their attendants.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Riding the Cab
View Full Record

This chief wears Islamic colors sitting on a carpet on top of a gold truck.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
The Asante Queen Mother
View Full Record

Representing the Asante royalty on this occasion, the Queen Mother's distinctive patterned umbrella echoes her pink kente cloth.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Traditional Brass Pans
View Full Record

Young girls carry the brass pans containing shea butter and other traditional gifts for the palace.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
Huge Crowds
View Full Record

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

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Brass Band
View Full Record

A uniformed group singing with their brass band.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
See and Be Seen
View Full Record

Two wealthy locals greet each other in their festive attire.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Cultural Tableau
View Full Record

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.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Rich Combinations
View Full Record

These chiefs combine Islamic talismans with white and embroidered robes over handwoven smocks typical of Ghana's Upper Regions.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Elderly Chief
View Full Record

An elderly chief surrounded by his supporters in northern smocks.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Guards with Hats
View Full Record

This set of guards wears elaborate basketry hats typical of the far north of Ghana.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Preparing to March
View Full Record

Uniformed members of an ethnic group assemble before joining the parade.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Grand Smocks
View Full Record

This chief and his companions display the most lavish possible examples of hand-woven smocks from the Upper Regions.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
On the Carpet
View Full Record

This chief brought two young attendants onto the carpet with him.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Veiling the Car
View Full Record

The light cloth under this chief's flowing robe conceals most of the car.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Postcolonial Helmet
View Full Record

The ornate green helmet of this chief, like the silver helmet worn by the Zongo Chief, elaborates upon the British colonial pith helmet.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Three Coordinated Chiefs
View Full Record

These three make an impressive appearance in coordinated scarlet and gold robes on richly decorated horses behaving well.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Traffic Congestion
View Full Record

The slow pace of movement often forces delegations to a standstill.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Most Traditional
View Full Record

This compact delegation includes all the highest status elements: horse, gold umbrella and concealing embroidered robe.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Nobles with Son
View Full Record

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

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Line of Horsemen
View Full Record

Riders in white robes wait for their chief to move on.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
Father-son Team
View Full Record

The crowds can make horses nervous, so riding has some danger.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
The Asantehemma's Entourage
View Full Record

Those accompanying the Asantehemma wear Islamic-themed attire.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
Outshining her Truck
View Full Record

This notable woman rides on her own rented truck, wearing a flamboyant Yoruba-style headtie.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Notable Woman
View Full Record

This woman notable arrives in style near the end of the parade.

Courtesy of Ata Muhammed (August 2011)
Riding in Comfort
View Full Record

This dignified woman sits on a mattress made of pillows on the car roof.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)
Political Party
View Full Record

Prominent political parties display their candidates in the parade.

Courtesy of Carmen Paz (August 2011)

Related Objects

Zongo Chief
Zongo Chief (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Bodyguards of the Zongo Chief
Bodyguards of the Zongo Chief (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

Zongo Chief's Horse
Zongo Chief's Horse (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

Magnificent in Red
Magnificent in Red (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Dancing Chief
Dancing Chief (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Power Symbols
Power Symbols (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

Turban and Lace
Turban and Lace (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Desert Style
Desert Style (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

White and Red Contrast
White and Red Contrast (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Riding the Cab
Riding the Cab (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

The Asante Queen Mother
The Asante Queen Mother (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Traditional Brass Pans
Traditional Brass Pans (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

Huge Crowds
Huge Crowds (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Brass Band
Brass Band (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

See and Be Seen
See and Be Seen (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Cultural Tableau
Cultural Tableau (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Rich Combinations
Rich Combinations (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Elderly Chief
Elderly Chief (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Guards with Hats
Guards with Hats (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Preparing to March
Preparing to March (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Grand Smocks
Grand Smocks (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

On the Carpet
On the Carpet (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Veiling the Car
Veiling the Car (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Postcolonial Helmet
Postcolonial Helmet (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Three Coordinated Chiefs
Three Coordinated Chiefs (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Traffic Congestion
Traffic Congestion (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Most Traditional
Most Traditional (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Nobles with Son
Nobles with Son (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Line of Horsemen
Line of Horsemen (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

Father-son Team
Father-son Team (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

The Asantehemma's Entourage
The Asantehemma's Entourage (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

Outshining her Truck
Outshining her Truck (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Notable Woman
Notable Woman (August 2011)
Courtesy of Ata Muhammed

Riding in Comfort
Riding in Comfort (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Political Party
Political Party (August 2011)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz


Related Essay
Creator: Clark, Gracia
Description: Chiefs and other public figures taking part in the parade
Date: August 2011
Date Range: 2010-2019
Location: Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana
Format: Image/jpeg
Rights Management: For educational use only.
Contributing Institution: Gracia Clark; MATRIX: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University

Validate: XHTML | CSS