In a small village, several hundred miles of bone-jarring dirt roads from Ghana’s capital, the walls of Chief Bonja’s courtyard are covered with portraits of him and his elders greeting visiting guests and dignitaries. His full name, Daasebre Atamafowiese Nana Kwame Bonja II, and title, the Paramount Chief of the Chonke Traditional Area at Borae II, conveyed dignity even before I was introduced to him by one of his elders. The formal dress of the chief and elders may appear to be only ceremonial, but the school teachers, fishermen and farmers that wear these royal robes have a great deal of influence in the community and government. The institution of chieftaincy is guaranteed by the constitution. But even more importantly, tradition in Ghana places great importance on the position and authority of the chieftaincy.
All photographs ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman
(Nikon D4, 70-200mm f2.8 @86mm, 1/2500 sec, f2.8, ISO 800)
(Nikon D4, 35mm f1.4, 1/3200 sec, f1.4, ISO 400