Artistic Representations of Gender: A Monograph on the Art in the Dwellings of Sirigu in the Upper East Region of Ghana, West Africa

The Sirigu architectonic tradition consists of sculptured buildings with geometric patterns in mainly red, white and black. Scarifications on the faces of the indigenes also consist of intricate geometric incisions. The artistic traditions of the women of Sirigu play a vital role in their cultural identity, therefore the women demonstrate commitment not only to maintain their artistic uniqueness but also to brand and market it both locally and in the international tourist market. Research on Nankana architecture suggests a history of correlation between dwellings, gender and scarifications. Recent studies have sought to balance a static structural and symbolic analysis with a more dynamic approach, which addresses both continuities and change in artistic representation. Yet interest in gender has been limited to the functions of space and gender, with little interest in the symbolism of space and motifs. Therefore, this monograph explores the gender dynamics in domestic dwellings of Sirigu, analyzing the relationships between the art of wall decorations and scarification with a focus on the visual analysis and symbolic meanings of motifs and their functions as they reflect gender, continuities and change and the economics of women’s arts.

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