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Power and Responsibility: Royalty and the Performing Arts in Asante-Ghana

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 June 2021


In all Akan polities, ancestral Black Stools, which belong to the matriclan, are the source of political power and legitimize kingship. Due to the sacred and exclusive nature of stool rituals, Ampene argues that it is the performing arts which define and enhance the power of rulers in the public domain. This ethnographic narrative of the 2014 Grand Worship provides a rare opportunity for the performing arts to project the power and responsibility of the Asantehene when he participates in musical performances and dances.



Dans tous les régimes politiques Akan, les tabourets noirs ancestraux qui appartiennent au matriclan sont la source du pouvoir politique et légitiment de la royauté. En raison de la nature sacrée et exclusive des rites de tabourets, Ampene soutient que ce sont les arts du spectacle qui définissent et renforcent le pouvoir des dirigeants dans le domaine public. Ce récit ethnographique du Grand Culte de 2014, offre une rare occasion aux arts du spectacle de projeter le pouvoir et la responsabilité de l’Asantehene lorsqu’il participe à des performances musicales et de danses.



Em todos os regimes Akan, os Tamboretes Negros ancestrais, que pertencem aos clãs matriarcais, são a fonte de poder político e legitimam a realeza. Devido à natureza sagrada e exclusiva dos rituais relacionados com os tamboretes, Ampene defende que as artes performativas são o meio através do qual o poder dos governantes é definido e enaltecido na arena pública. Esta narrativa etnográfica da Grande Veneração de 2014 demonstra que se trata de uma rara oportunidade para que as artes performativas projetem o poder e a responsabilidade do Asantehene, quando ele participa em performances musicais e em danças.

© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the African Studies Association

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