Plantains are popular in Ghana as a snack or side dish. Though related to bananas, plantains are much starchier and far less sweet, and are therefore usually eaten cooked.
Plantains can be baked, boiled, fried, pounded or dried and milled into flour. Probably the most common preparation in Ghana is the seemingly ubiquitous fufu, a starch made from pounding plantain together with cassava or yam (not to be confused with sweet potato, which isn’t a true yam) that is served as an accompaniment to stews, soups and sauces.
Since pounding fufu is quite labor intensive, let’s learn to make kelewele, a delectable spiced fried plantain dish that is a popular snack in Ghana. Think sweet and hearty Ghanaian comfort food…with a kick! READ MORE →
Educators learning a traditional children’s rock passing game in the village of Kopeyia, Ghana.
“Holo holo holo holo, gbe sia, bne nono…” The voices of my second grade general music students sing in Ewe as the students hold the garden rocks, tracing circles on the floor. “Ala, sariki babu. Ala sariki babu.” Each student excitedly picks up his or her rock and, moving to the beat, passes the rock to the student to his or her right as they sing the phrase “Ala sariki babu” over and over. While students eagerly wait for the student next to them to pass the rock, one student inevitably ends up with multiple rocks, laughter ensues and the game starts again! This is a learning opportunity to practice singing skills, reinforce steady beat, learn about tempo, and introduce music of world cultures. READ MORE →
While eating lunch at the Afia Beach Hotel in the capital city of Accra this past summer, some students in our Study in Ghana group noticed a group of musicians at a nearby table. One of them had what looked like a kora, a traditional stringed instrument commonly found in Mali, Guinea, Senegal, The Gambia and other countries in West Africa. This man turned out to be none other than Adama Dembele de Zoumba, a well-known griot (master musician/vocalist/storyteller) from Burkina Faso READ MORE →
Participants on the ThisWorldMusic/UMASS summer Study in Ghana program. Pack smart, stay happy!
With the ThisWorldMusic/UMASS summer 2012 Study in Ghana program on the horizon, I thought I’d share some packing tips we give trip participants. Although a standard packing list is easy to come by, these 10 lesser known items are must haves for anyone planning to study in Ghana: READ MORE →
Cocoa farmer and Divine Chocolate part owner Adwoa Asianaa. Photo Courtesy of Kim Naylor.
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Spent a most edifying evening this past Friday with my friend and colleague Anthony Douglass discussing Ewe music and history. He played me some amazing recordings he’d made years ago of his Ghanaian teacher singing traditional Ewe songs and decoding their various meanings, recordings mostly made on a series of Sunday afternoons at this man’s home. Good luck finding this stuff in a book.
And while you can probably guess that no two renditions of a given song were identical, the point here is that READ MORE →