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Title: The function and aesthetics of Ga Kpashimo Songs
Authors: Bonku, Lucy K.
Issue Date: 28-Nov-2003
Series/Report no.: 3536;
Abstract: Homowo, the ceremony of “hooting at hunger” is the annual festival of the Gas. It is the most widely observed of the traditional Ga harvest rituals, celebrated by families in every Ga town. It is the festal day on which Ga families assemble in their ancestral homes to share a ritual meal with dead and living family members. This festival extends from four days in most towns to four weeks in Accra. One of the most interesting aspects of this traditional festival is one of the days when people in that particular community are free to voice out their pent-up feelings about all the negative things that might have happened throughout the year, condemn the culprit(s) where necessary and give commendation or thanks where praise is due as pertains in the Ga Kpashimo Songs of the Teshie people. All these are done amid singing and dancing enveloped in much obscenity on a day set aside during the festive season for such purpose. This happens only during that period of time and no more. During this time of the festival very pertinent and sensitive issues in society are denounced through songs but it is unfortunate how the audience just enjoy the sheer spectacle and walk away; the audience get carried away in the euphoria climaxing the festival so much that much of what is sung about is quickly forgotten. This essay on the aesthetics of the Ga Kpashimo songs is my contribution to existing knowledge on the subject. This thesis attempts to prompt readers to have a second look at the Kpashimo songs, for beneath their apparent obscene presentation very important and sensitive messages are presented. Aside this, the songs rendered are fused with powerful literary figures of speech which clearly qualify them as aesthetic objects. With the help of background research, the song texts have been critically appraised within their contexts, showing how the embedded literary devices affect the meaning of the messages transmitted. This discourse also concludes that both verbal and visual artistry is employed to give full meaning to the song texts, hence it is therefore necessary for the audience not to get carried away alone in the pleasure the Kpashimo songs give and dismiss the whole show as vulgar or profane, but to take in the pertinent issues talked about in the songs for the necessary corrective measures to take place. Again I hope my readers will agree with me, after reading this dissertation that the Ga Kpashimo songs possess the innate qualities that qualify them as excellent works of art.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Department of Languages, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts degree in Comparative Literature, 2003
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2072
Appears in Collections:College of Arts and Social Sciences

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