The Role of Art in Customary Marriage Ceremonies: The Case of Krobos of Somanya, Ghana (Published)
Customary Marriage ceremonies among the Krobos of Somanya in the Eastern Region of Ghana involve a lot of display of both visual and performing art forms. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to investigate the role of arts in the marriage ceremonies of the Krobos of Somanya by identifying the art forms and symbols exhibited at such marriage ceremonies, and then evaluating the significance of each art form or symbol in the entire ceremony. Qualitative research method with Semi structured interviews and Focus Group Discussions were used to gather information that addresses the research objectives and questions. The sampling frame for the study included traditional elders within the Somanya community, chiefs, queen mothers, and family heads. The purposive sampling was used to select two (2) traditional leaders, as well as five (5) other persons who are well informed of the traditions and customs of Somanya to serve as respondents for the study. The data gathered were subsequently analyzed using the qualitative technique. From the results of the study, the major findings was that music, drama and appellations were highly used by marriage couples throughout the marriage rites. It was also found that beads play a very important role in the marriage ceremonies, with each bead colour having a particular meaning and significance to the marriage process. It could be concluded that each art form observed at the ceremony has a meaning and significance have endeared most people to the traditional form of marriage in spite of the prevalence of the Ordinance (wedding) type of marriage in other areas. Finally, efforts should be made to establish a gallery as well as a website where the various art forms used in such marriage ceremonies, their meanings and significance can be captured on audio and video for display, preservation, and for sale.
Keywords: Art, Ceremonies, Customary Marriage, Ghana