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Cultural identity in the murals of Sirigu women and their role in art education and social sustainability

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Although mural art, unlike pottery, is not widely practised by African women, the predominantly female art known as ‘Bambolse’ in the indigenous language of Sirigu, in the Upper East Region of Ghana, performs a number of important social functions, from adornment and communication to the assertion of cultural identity and the preservation of traditional values. The murals employ traditional motifs and symbols, and are either representational, geometric or a combination of the two. Despite Bambolse’s significance in the local culture, however, there has been very little formal chronicling of its aesthetics and iconography, and it is the aim of this study to address that shortfall. In examining the cultural, symbolic and aesthetic aspects of this unique art form, we will demonstrate, using findings based on a qualitative research approach, how it not only empowers its practitioners as artists but also plays an influential role in the region’s socio-economic development.
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Keywords: Sirigu; cultural identity; murals of Ghana; symbolism; women’s art

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Publication date: 12 July 2011

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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