In the 1990’s, while I was still teaching at Rutgers, I did quite a bit of work for UNDP and UNESCO. I took a camera with me but had little time to use it. One opportunity arose when I went to a very very small village near Kumasi, Ghana, where I lived and taught for 3 months. A graduate student at Rutgers had asked me to bring a gift of a radio and some cash to his mother, who he explained was the Queen Mother of a small village, Dawu, population 1000. One Saturday I arranged for a driver to bring me there. A retired English anthropologist staying at the same guest house I was in asked if she could join me. I agreed. Nearing the village the driver was confused about where to go, and stopped at a police station to request help. The officer was intrigued by these two white women wanting to go to the little village, so he offered to show us the route. The front seat could hold only 3 people, so I went to the back of the truck.
Arriving in the village we saw a funeral was ending. Most of the residents were in the same area and were astounded to find a truck with a policeman and an elderly white woman alongside the driver, and another white woman in the open back of the truck! We announced the reason for our visit, and were escorted to the courtyard of the Queen Mother’s home. Almost all the elders followed. I presented the radio, and later, privately gave her the cash. Nana Aatcha insisted that I return for a meal the next weekend, and I agreed. At that time I took a number of photos, primarily of women and children, and when I returned home to New York, I arranged an exhibit of them titled “Women and Children of Dawu”. I was excited at this, one of my first exhibits. I was still employed full time at Rutgers and made no further efforts to exhibit this series.
THE IMAGES BELOW ARE FROM THE RAW NEGATIVES. THEY ARE NEITHER CROPPED NOR COLOR CORRECTED AS THE PRINTS ARE.