African Art March 2012

 

Asante, Ghana, West Africa
Ht. 38 1/2"
c. 1910
Private US Collection
"Ntan (en-tan) bands were popular among the Asante peoples of Ghana between 1920s and 1950s.        They performed on occasions such as naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals and traditional festivals—any event where entertainment was needed. This is in contrast to other musical instruments and performances that were reserved for the court. The term ntan (meaning “bluff” in Twi) does not refer to the drum itself, but rather to the entire event that featured music and the display of carved figurative sculptures representing the chief, queen mother and members of the court. Reflecting the colonial presence of the times on the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana), the sculptural entourage also included figures of colonial officers. " National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution online