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Grant number like: HB-262811-19

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Courtnay Micots
Florida A&M University (Tallahassee, FL 32307-3102)

Awards for Faculty
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$25,000 (approved)
$25,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 7/31/2019

Kakaamotobe: The 20th-Century History and Culture of Fancy Dress Carnival in Ghana

Research and writing leading to publication of a book about the history and culture of Kakaamotobe, a West African carnival, from 1899 to the present.

Kakaamotobe, or Fancy Dress, is a lively carnival that has been performed in southern Ghana, West Africa, for more than a century, yet few scholars have analyzed this vibrant and engaging art form. The purpose of this project is to complete the first book on West African carnival. Fancy Dress is significant as an art form that blends local and foreign performance traditions to express public commentary on pop culture; social and cultural mores; and local, national and international politics and economy. A vital creative expression of the lower classes, the carnival is both comedic entertainment and a necessary regenerative force in Ghanaian culture. I will combine extensive field research gathered over nine years with secondary sources in art history, history, culture and politics in order to situate this artistic practice across Ghana and in comparison with other Black Atlantic carnivalesque traditions.