ADOWA DANCE- GHANA

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ADOWA DANCE, GHANA

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Performed mainly during funerals, festivals, and social gatherings by an African tribal community known as “Ashanti” is a dance form called Adowa. This “tribal” dance is said to have originated in Ghana in the “Ashanti region” located in the southern part of the country. Furthermore, this dance performed mainly by a female who is called “Adowahemma”. In addition, this dance style also includes a lead singer, a chorus, and a group of musicians that play mainly the drums.

a. History/origin of the Adowa Dance:

According to a popular legend, once the queen mother of the “Ashanti” tribe in southern Ghana called “Abrewa Tuta” was extremely sick. And so to cure the queen mother it was recommended that an antelope should be sacrificed. So in response to the recommendation a few warlords set out to capture and kill the animal. Unfortunately, though the animal easily evaded the warlords by using quick feet movements. It was this quick footwork used by the animal that shocked the warlords, who then imitated it, and thereby help create this dance form.

b. Costumes used in the Adowa Dance:

The costume worn by the performers (mainly females) is a traditional outfit known as “Kente”, and it includes a colourful long dress that exposes the shoulder region. In addition, the performers also use a golden coloured headband and colourful necklaces, armlets, anklets, and nose ring.

c. Music involved in the Adowa Dance:

The musical instruments basically used in this tribal dance form include a double bell known as “dawure”, a single bell called “atoke” , and drums such as atumpan (a pair), an apentemma, a petia, a brenko, and a donno (hourglass drum).

d. Training availability and technique involved in the Adowa Dance:

In terms of technique, this dance requires the performers to sway their body and hands rhythmically to the beats of the music and song sung by lead singer. As for training centres/schools, there are none available around the globe since this “tribal” dance is only performed by a community in Ghana known as “Ashanti”.

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