Public Face of Islam in Kumasi

By Gracia Clark

City Parade

click sub-title for interview segments

Public Participation Part 1 (00:04:30-00:05:20)

The Zongo Chief Part 3 (00:09:24-00:09:28)

Upper Region Dancers Part 1 (00:03:55-00:04:20)

Upper Region Dancers Part 2 (00:13:13-00:13:20)

Upper Region Dancers Part 3 (00:13:59-00:15:43)

Public Participation Part 2 (00:10:55-00:11:22)

Public Participation Part 3 (00:12:01-00:12:31)

Chiefs on Display Part 1 (00:03:07-00:04:20)

Chiefs on Display Part 2 (00:05:19-00:05:35)

Chiefs on Display Part 3 (00:06:35-00:07:01)

Chiefs on Display Part 4 (00:13:34-00:13:35)

The Zongo Chief Part 1 (00:07:29-00:08:10)

The Zongo Chief Part 2 (00:08:35-00:08:52)
Courtesy of Carmen Paz

Related Objects

Notables Slideshow (August 2011)

Spectators Slideshow (August 2011)

Related Essay
Creator: Paz, Carmen
Description: Video Footage Scene Comments

Start (00:00:00)
Families returning from the noon prayer at Kumasi Central Mosque on Eid-al-Fitr, 2011.

The followers of a popular local teacher surround him and his family, as the last vehicles allowed pass.

Note hawkers with head loads and pushcarts as the street clears. Pairs of young men and sets of women walk along.

Boys claiming good viewing positions near local vendors' tables and kiosks.

The first chiefs' umbrellas come into view at the top of the street. Community members crowd the street and watch from uncompleted buildings.

Muslim chiefs riding on trucks, using Asante-style umbrellas and wearing richly embroidered robes, typically Hausa. Their crowds of followers merge with onlookers. One group wears matching cloths and headscarves in bright green, a color favored by the Prophet.

Important attendant rides a horse, a very expensive luxury in this climate. A chief in Fulani-style dress with green veil displays a less Islamic ethnic tableau on the roof of the truck cab. Children in matching outfits ride in back.

Women and chief dancing on truck. Fly whisks made of horse's mane.

Upper Region ethnic drumming and dance.
Men in smocks, some women in "traditional" non-Islamic dress.

Women in green uniform cloth with headscarves and/or lace veils dancing together.
Men playing trombones.

Street level views of uniforms, hawkers.

Banner carried by constituents of local chief of Yoruba immigrants.

Young man in white brocade, showing off his horsemanship---or not.

Northern Region chief in embroidered smock, dancing for the crowd.

Ethnic chief of Upper Region residents in Kumasi. His Asante-style headband has gold medallions, and he wears a metallic brocade robe over a handwoven white and indigo smock. Followers hold banner with portraits of male and female leaders.

Sub-chiefs on horses with young sons riding in front.
Note policemen passing by.

Zongo chief riding horse with gold trappings, in white flowing robes One set of palace guards wears red turbans, other elders in other matching turbans or outfits. Note men taking photos, two men holding umbrellas. Regalia include silver helmet, sheer lace veils on men and horse.

Crowds seen from our rooftop perch. Kente cloth umbrella in center shades the Asantehemma. Pickup trucks outnumber horses. Note slow and halting pace of parade, allowing more dancing. Men and women in casual modern dress join in.

Brass band with snare and bass drum. Good dancers show off for friends taking video.

Expert dancers from Upper Region whirl their heavy smocks, to music from traditional drums and clay flutes.

Drummer dances up to a "big man" in smock, who puts paper money on the drummer's forehead and then joins in the dancing. A young woman in "generic modern Ghanaian" pink cloth outfit tips drummer, then waves her pink purse and white handkerchief at "big man." When she starts dancing, he tips her liberally.

Subject: Women
Date: August 2011
Date Range: 2010-2019
Location: Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana
Format: Video/mp4
Rights Management: For educational use only.
Contributing Institution: Carmen Paz; Gracia Clark; MATRIX: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University
Contributor: Gracia Clark (Editor & Commentator)