Military Arts of the Fante

by Doran Ross
Formerly Fowler Museum, UCLA

Flag dancing scene, No. 2 Company, Mankesim, FanteGhana, 1979. Photo by Doran H. Ross.

One of the preeminent occasions for flag display is the “outdooring” of a new company shrine. This photograph was taken when the new No. 2 Company shrine (see page two of this essay) was first presented to the public after being concealed behind a twenty-foot-tall plaited barrier that hid the entire construction process. In addition to the scenario mentioned in the preceding image, flag dancing may be embellished with such details as showing the flag to the enemy and then sleeping on it to express confidence of success, or the dancer may crouch low to the ground and take a mouthful of dirt calling the blood of buried ancestors to the fight.