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The nexus between tangible and intangible cultural heritage and ocean governance in Ghana: the case of canoe inscriptions, festivals and ASAFO companies

One Ocean Hub

University of Strathclyde, UK

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  • advocacy,
  • culture,
  • ocean heritage,
  • sustainable development,
  • UNWorldOceansDay
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  • Students,
  • Researchers,
  • Community workers,
  • Policy makers
  • English
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In this short documentary, we take a look at the symbolism of canoes among coastal people in Ghana and its relationship with Asafo* groups and local festivals.

The One Ocean Hub’s research in Ghana contributes to bridging the disconnection between legal, scientific and socio-cultural dimensions of ocean governance and cultural heritage drawing on the voices and perspectives of local people. Through local knowledge systems, the researchers demonstrated how canoe inscriptions and the political economy of Asafo companies draws attention to the nexus between the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of coastal people and communities and its implications for fisheries management and ocean governance. This documentary was first shown during the ‘Canoe Culture and Heritage in Ghana’ webinar by Dr. Georgina Yaa Oduro and Dr. John Windie Ansah of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Cape Coast. The webinar was part of the Hub’s programme of events during the World Oceans Week in June 2021.

*Asafo companies were the traditional warriors in local communities in Ghana involved in both defence and rescue missions until the evolution of the modern military.