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Fragmentary Ancestors – Manchester Museum

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Fragmentary Ancestors: Figurines from Koma Land, Ghana

Date: 25 October 2013 – 5th May 2014

Location: Manchester Museum

Free entry

This exhibition is the first ever officially approved showing of clay figurines in the UK, made by a previously little understood people in Koma Land in Ghana, West Africa. The figurines, often fragmentary and depicting stylised two-headed creatures, bird figures, and animals, are thought to represent the ancestors. It is possible that some of the figurines had liquid offerings poured into channels in the figurines, and that some might have been linked with healing and medicine. They were discovered during archaeological fieldwork directed by Prof. Ben Kankpeyeng and involving colleagues such as Prof. Tim Insoll (University of Manchester) working with the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB).

Special Events

Exhibition tour of Fragmentary Ancestors: Figurines from Koma Land
Sat 26 Oct, 1-1.45pm
Prof Benjamin Kankpeyeng leads an exclusive tour of our new exhibition exploring the background to the fieldwork that led to the figurines discovery, and investigates the meaning and purpose of these enigmatic figurines.

Fragmentary Ancestors? Figurines and Archaeology from Koma Land, Ghana
Mon 28 Oct, 5-6pm
An insight into the fieldwork that has taken place in Koma Land since 2006. Prof Benjamin Kankpeyeng and Prof Timothy Insoll explore the practical difficulties and challenges of working in such a remote region.

Collection Bites: Trading Well-being: The Materiality of Medicine and Religion at a Healers’ Market, Accra, Ghana
Wed 6 Nov, 1-2pm
In West Africa healing combines both medicine and religion with specialist markets selling herbs and idols side by side. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Ghana, PhD Archaeology student, Bryn Trevelyan James will open a conversation on the stories behind some fascinating objects.
Book on 0161 275 2648 or museum@manchester.ac.uk

Big Saturday: Ancient Faces & Places
Sat 16 Nov, 11am-4pm
Drop-in, free, all ages
Discover, explore and get hands-on with a fun family day out at the Museum. Find out more about the people of ancient times through objects; how they used and made them. Meet museum curators, and explore our ‘Fragmentary Ancestors: Figurines from Koma Land’ exhibition.

Ancestors in ancient Egypt: Images and Practice
Wed 4 Dec, 6-8pm
Drop in, free.
Join our Curator of Egypt and the Sudan, Dr Campbell Price in exploring the evidence of ancestor worship by ordinary Egyptians. This talk will investigate how images can be used to explain the fascinating, yet often overlooked, process and practice of ancestor worship.

You can find out more about all the Museum’s events at manchester.ac.uk/museum


About Esrene

Freelance Engagement and Events Coordinator

Esrene has written 214 awesome articles for us at STUN

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