On the next to the last day of a 3 month assignment from UNPD to train faculty at the Planning Department at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, a professor in the department called me aside. Quietly he explained that he was also the chief of his nearby village. He explained that a relative of the king of the Ashanti had died, and the next day chiefs and important people from all over the region would be gathering to pay respects to the king. He invited me to come with him and his villagers, as he believed I would find it interesting. My assistant and friend, Diana Shannon, was also invited.
We went to the gathering not knowing what to expect. We were two of three white people in the crowd of several hundred; the third person was an albino.
My colleague was correct: I was intrigued by his explanation of the ceremonies. He also told me I should feel comfortable photographing. I began slowly but picked up speed and energy. When I returned home I developed the film and made a set of large prints. They were exhibited only once, at the Paul Robeson Center at Rutgers.
THE IMAGES BELOW ARE FROM THE RAW NEGATIVES. THEY ARE NEITHER CROPPED NOR COLOR CORRECTED AS THE PRINTS ARE.