Promise Nyatepeh Nyatuame F'20

Promise Nyatepeh Nyatuame
Lecturer
Department of Theatre and Film Studies
University of Cape Coast

African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships 2020
Lecturer
Department of Theatre and Film Studies
University of Cape Coast
MEMORIES OF LIBERATION RECONSTRUCTED: HISTORICAL SEMIOTICS IN MISEGO PERFORMANCE OF THE ANLOS OF GHANA

Misego, which is a ‘sacred’ performance of the Anlos of Ghana, has been described by several cultural anthropologists as ‘dance’ or ‘musical-dance’ or ‘musical accompaniment’ to a ‘dance’. Such inconsistent considerations undermine its numerous functions. In fact, a critical study of Anlo oral histories reveals Misego as a compelling reenactment of history through a collective reconstruction of a liberatory political exodus narrative of the Anlos. Using ethnography and socio-cultural historical theories, I argue that Misego is not a mere artistic repertoire of dance and/or music but a configured performative manifestation of history and cultural repository of the people. My study will expand the frontiers of socio-cultural historical narratives and their application in performance studies. It also contributes to historical documentation and education in that it shows that oral traditions, like other sources of history, are a treasure in historical reconstructions, especially in the re-memorialisation of the history of indigenous communities.