1080 x 734 Military Arts of the Fante, Page 6 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art
The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Military Arts of the Fante

by Doran Ross
Formerly Fowler Museum, UCLA

Posuban (cement shrine) of No. 2 Company, built by Kwamina Amoaku in 1973. Kormantine, Fante, Ghana, 1974. Photo by Doran H. Ross.

As with the preceding shrines the figures in front represent Asafo elders. The central figure, a senior asafohen, wears an amulet-laden war shirt and a three-pronged whip, both symbols of his office. The leopards are one of the primary emblems of the company: “We are strong like leopards.” The three-headed dragon between the top two arches has the same meaning as the easier image in Screen 2 of this essay, “Will you fly, or will you vanish.” The cement cannons represent the “firepower” of the company (see Cole and Ross 1977: 188-190 for a more detailed discussion of this shrine).