Ghanaian Cultural Troupe in their Kente cloth dancing traditional Akan "Kete" dance to the rhythms of the big Fontomfrom drums at Accra, Ghana. Kete is an Akan drum ensemble, the origin of which is unknown. Many kete ensembles exist in the Akan regions of Ghana and play at funerals. The Asantehene’s ensemble plays at ancestor venerations and formerly played at executions. They were also taken to war. It is said indicates that earlier Asantehenes had them played in the royal mausoleum while they inspected the royal skeletons.
The music of kete is reputed to possess the power of attracting good spirits. J.H.
Kwabena Nketia states that the surrogated texts extol high moral values through the
telling of heroic ideals. A kete dance developed that involves symbolic hand gestures reflecting these values. It is danced barefoot and trained male dancers dance with their lapa cloth lowered beneath the chest.
The instruments of kete includes the petia (small stick drum), kwadum (master drum), apentema (hand drum), and abrukua (stick drum). The donno (hour-glass-shaped talking drum) is absent from this group, and the ntorowa (gourd rattle) and dawuro (boat-shaped, hand-held iron bell) are in the back row. Kete ensembles once contained a vocal choir and choir of atenteben (vertical bamboo flutes), but both are no longer utilized.
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah