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Clifford Collard, Niamh Jane (2020) 'The Antinomies of Heritage: Tradition and the Work of Weaving in a Ghanaian Workshop.' In: Baillie, Britt and Sørensen, Marie Louise Stig, (eds.), African Heritage Challenges: Communities and Sustainable Development. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 181-199. (Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa)

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Exploring the values attached to heritage through an ethnography of craftwork in southern Ghana, this chapter looks at how the routine, quotidian sociality of weaving, engaged in by young men seeking livelihoods, embodies ideas about cultural practices which are quite different than those enacted by local elites. Looking at the antinomies of local craft heritage from the perspective of an annual festival held in celebration of weaving traditions, the material considers how social and political hierarchies, and their attendant conflicting power relations shape engagement with local heritage. Colonial history, Ghana’s post-independence national heritage policies and the contemporary experience of youths waiting for work point to how heritage has become contested as both an element of elite spectacle and the foundation of crafting livelihoods. Approaching craft as a socially stratified and politically fraught part of local livelihood practices offers the opportunity to enliven heritage studies and move beyond elite politics to the lived realities of heritage traditions.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
ISBN: 9789811543654
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2021 16:53
Funders: Other

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