Narratives of the Artistry in the House of Chief Golobdan of Tongo: An Afrocentric Aesthetics Research

Benjamin Quarshie *

Department of Creative Arts Education, Mampong Technical College of Education, Ghana and School of Creative Arts, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana.

Wisdom Yaw Ofori

School of Creative Arts, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana and Visual Art Department, Kadjebi-Asato Senior High School, Ghana.

Henry Ofosu Ameyaw

Department of Art, Abetifi Presbyterian College of Education, Ghana.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


This article critically examines through a purposive qualitative case study the philosophical and conceptually coded symbolism within the indigenous artistry housed in the residence of Golobdan, the chief of Tongo in Ghana's Upper East region. The primary objective is to establish a meaningful correlation between these traditional art forms and contemporary artistic practices. Such scholarly analysis will turn to project the aesthetic underpinnings of the shrine arts within the daily routines of the family of the chief beyond religious relics. Findings of the study reveal that these installations, functioning as personal deities, emanate a profound sense of awe, manifesting expressions of power and authority in absentia upon initial observation. These works serve diverse purposes, acting as conduits for protection and fostering connections between the realms of the living and the spiritual. Employing a contextual content analysis through a visual analytic lens grounded in Afrocentric aesthetic theories, the results demonstrate that these artistic creations possess robust visual and conceptual characteristics, making them suitable candidates for placement within the global contemporary art sphere. The intricate concepts and philosophical foundations embedded in both the architectural designs and installations generate compelling visual statements. This visual eloquence stems from the daily dialogues enacted between the chief, as a mortal being, and his dynamic interactions establishing connections with the spiritual realm. In alignment with previous scholarly perspectives, the paper contend that contemporary conceptual art is not a nascent trend in Africa but rather an ingrained practice seamlessly woven into the spiritual fabric of daily life and cultural traditions. We assert the imperative need for African art scholars to amplify scholarly discourse on the ontological underpinnings of these cultural practices and associated artistry. This advocacy is crucial for bridging the existing education gap in African art history and aesthetics, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich artistic heritage embedded in indigenous practices.

Keywords: Afrocentric aesthetics, artistry, conceptual, African shrine art, Ghana, tourism

How to Cite

Quarshie , Benjamin, Wisdom Yaw Ofori, and Henry Ofosu Ameyaw. 2024. “Narratives of the Artistry in the House of Chief Golobdan of Tongo: An Afrocentric Aesthetics Research”. Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology 43 (3):9-18.


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