Art and Architecture in Northern Ghana

by Fred T. Smith
Kent State University

Exterior of a Frafra home, northern Ghana. Photo by Fred T. Smith, 1973.

Another important ritual component of the zanore is the room of the compound founder, located to the right of the entryway. Functioning as both shrine and possible sleeping place, it serves as a memorial to the compound founder. When the compound head reaches old age, he usually sleeps in this room in order to establish closer contact with his partilineal ancestors. On its roof the cloth smocks of important adult males of the compound are displayed during funerals. It is at this location that a man's funeral is concluded with a sacrifice to his ancestors and a reaffirmation of both family and lineage solidarity.