Military Arts of the Fante

by Doran Ross
Formerly Fowler Museum, UCLA

Asafo company costuming, No. 1 Company, Legu, FanteGhana, 1974. Photo by Doran H. Ross.


This company is the rival to the one in the preceding image. In contrast to the latter’s army and police uniforms, No. 1 Company features nautically themed dress and textiles with anchors, life-savers, and other imagery drawn from marine culture. One skit performed by the group is a dry-land reenactment of measuring the water’s depth with a marked line. In reality this is a taunt to rival No. 2 with No. 1 saying they “do not fear getting too close.”