Participation of Women in the Traditional Music Scene: Perspectives from Avatime Totoeme Musical Performance in Ghana (Published)
The article provides an empirical example and a study rooted in the concept of cultural construction of feminism in relation to traditional music making of Avatime people of Ghana. Data was collected through participant observation of Totoeme. The author addresses the participation of women in traditional music performance and its associated rituals based on gender asymmetric assumptions. It also highlights removal of certain barriers among women in totoeme musical performance as pertains to installation of a new queen mother. The paper concludes that women can be credited for sustaining most African dances including totoeme in this contemporary world. It is therefore important that they are supported possibly by traditional authorities in this regard to ensure cultural preservation.
Based on the concept of music communication and relevant literature, the paper unravels the communication process in Totoeme musical genre of the Avatime people of Ghana. It attempts to elucidate some of the intrinsic and extrinsic facts in terms of repertoire and general performance of totoeme music. It is an insight into a traditional music phenomenon and some pragmatic but vociferous symbolical elements that enhance meaning in an indigenous musical performance and its associated rituals. Through observation and interview, it was found out that the channels of communication in Avatime music are experienced during procession, choral section, and the dance section in the various contexts. The paper concludes that messages transmitted in the performances during the social occasions portray the artistic cultural values giving opportunities to the people to air their sentiments, emotions and express how their challenges are dealt with.