ghana pics

Some shop names in Accra are hilarious! For the stranger and passer-by they are a constant source of delight. To name a few: “Don’t mind your wife, chop bar”. “Thy will be done hair salon”. “Slow but sure ladies fashion”. “God will provide electric store”. “First class front wheel drive advisor”. “Blood of Jesus furniture works”. Because names are funny, they are also memorable, which has a distinct commercial advantage. Besides their humour, they also cause one to question the possible meaning and reflect on the views of a society driven to underpin business with names related to proverbs, home grown philosophy and religious aphorisms. In Accra then, they use the international language of business, English in a new way. In some cases, the unexpected combination of ideas and prose is a sharp jolt to the flaccid heart of the language, enriching it and giving it new breadth and life. On further investigation one discovers Ghana’s population largely constitutes the Akan group of people, who have a rich tradition of proverbial sayings adapted to every possible occasion i.e: However great the cock may try to appear, one thing is true about it, it came from a mere egg. The Akan people comprise the Ashante, Fanti, Anyi, Atie and Baule groups. They also use their vast store of proverbs as the subject matter to boost their artistic expression. Akan art centres on a production of items bolstering status and prestige for chiefs and members of the royal court. These artworks were originally cast in gold, made of a wooden armature and covered with gold foil, or more lately sprayed with metallic paint to add lustre. Al Bakris, an Arab historian writing about the court of Ghana in the 11th century observed: the king was adorned in jewellery and a gilded headdress, sat upon a pavilion around which stood ten horses in gold trappings. Behind the throne were ten pages holding shields and gold hilted swords. Today the artistic production is no less fantastic and items alluding to proverbial references include: crowns, staffs, state swords, sword ornaments, gold jewellery, umbrella tops and fly whisk handles, made in an array of figurative forms. Proverbs and humour are also manifest in Ghanaian architecture, furniture and flags, amongst others.

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