Painting: Is It Indigenous to Ghanaian Culture?


  • Emmanuel Antwi Department of Painting and Sculpture, Faculty of Fine Art, College of Art and Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa.
  • Martin Adi-Dako



Traditional African art, Autochthonous, Painting, Mural, and Body Painting.


Painting could be said to be well grounded in all cultures worldwide. This is underpinned by the vast record of cave art as globally represented, even though this phenomenon does not seamlessly continue into some ancient traditions that followed. In the face of the above however, to find the traditional period of a people one has to identify the geographical area of this group in order to consider the autochthonous art practice of the place so as to determine its cultural beginnings, extent, and forms of art explored. In the case of Ghana, one observes that, art historians usually site the beginning of painting at the time when colonial educational training of the arts was begun in Achimota from the 1900s. The study was conducted using historical review and analysis, unstructured interview guides as well as participant and non-participant observational techniques in a descriptive design at Sirigu, Ahwiaa and Ntonso, revealing the forms of painting that existed in the country before the introduction of formal training by the colonial masters. The result showed that Ghanaians traditionally practiced different kinds of painting, long before the colonial art training programme was introduced. We feel it should be of concern for any people to be able to tell, not only how, and why but also when they started doing the things that matter to their existence and cultural heritage.


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