the role of material objects in developing a ‘sense of belonging to places and community
Camerton an old mining town developed during the industrial revolution. The mining activity created the present landscape. Huge amounts of soil were deposited in the surrounding during the mining process. The soil deposits were later populated by trees. When mining stopped, the areas known as batches continued to grow. Natural trails developed used by locals, the batches became part of the fixed landscape of the areas, many people grew up in the areas, surrounding by these familiar landscape. People developed strong emotional attachments to their surroundings, the flows of trees, foliage, people, old buildings gave people a senses of identity, belonging, of territorilization, the batches became landmarks
The Cameron residents became proud of their mining heritage and set up their own preservation society to resist any changes to their area which they did not like. The Camerton heritage committee and the forestry commission set up a consultation process where they advocated a number of improvements to the area. The forestry commission wanted to cut down the existing trees and replace them with hardwood trees. The full public access to these modest proposals created huge amount of resentment, as many resident did not want native trees to be replaced, despite being told none of the trees are native. The locals became very emotional about the trees, a term known as ‘Topohilia’.
The territorilzation of the woodlands by the locals, their commitment to resist any future development, their emotional attachments to what they saw as native species, trees as landmarks, their familiarity to their surroundings, a stable environment, their shared values of what nature is,territolization,ownership and control of the common grounds, has created anxiety and uncertainty for the locals about what is about to happen to their enviromemnt.Their natural response has been to resist standardizations, and of losing control of what they see as their territory.
No area or community these days remains static,Camertons landscape follows familiar patterns of change, of mining,batches,flows of people and landscape, of money flows, of new ideas, changing environment, new economic development change in relationship between place and people. It is natural for people to defend what is familiar to them as in Camerton with the issue of batches; there is however an element of nibyism in peoples attitude.
The Forestry commission and the Heritage committee upon realising the huge resistance have had to change tactics. The idea now suggested to somehow link the heritage past of mining which people are proud and marry it with more modest proposals to preserve as much as the natural environment. According to reverend skinner’s diary written during the mining boom, life was very hard, so present day residents of Camerton have an unrealistic past history which the local history group wants to preserve. What we value now may have not been good for the town in the past.
The Kente cloth among Ghanian society has special meaning and significance, used by the Akan tribe to remember past ancestors and to link past and present. The Kente cloth has been especially useful to the Ghanian Diaspora as a cohesive mechanism to keep community cohesion, to keeps links with their mother country. The Kenta cloth for the Ghanian Diaspora has come to symbolize what it is to be of the Asante tribe.
The origins of the Kente cloth is that it represents royalty, it gives identity, it marks differences with others, the design and colour represents, its links to culture, place, language, traditions, unity and diversity, it represents political, cultural and economic relations to place, people and society. It has come to link imagined and real communities worldwide, a mythical attachment, of shared values, practices ands symbols. Asante traditions continue to lay claim to territory. People have a need to believe in authority, domination of cultural and emotional attachment to place re-inforces attachment.
The golden stool in Asante tradition is strong symbol of unity.
The tradition of the stool ceremony conceals authtority, attachment to place has been used among the Ghanian Diaspora as a powerfull political and ideological weapon. In the past the Kente cloth was used to bind and coerce the governed, now coercion has been replaced by the dynamics of association with the cloth, of attachment, of nation state, of communities and groups, to bring people closer to shared values, customs and traditions regardless where the Asante now live.
Because of today’s globalized world the Ghanian Diaspora poses special problems of identity, culture, place, language and attachment. The Ghanians in Denmark most will speak Danish, work and live among the Danish community. Their identity is not easily definable; they will have multiple attachments, to where they live, practice customs of their ancestors, organize cultural events. These imagined Ghanaian community associations seen through the Kente cloth means they are now less tribal, less class based, imagined shared values and customs have become blended and mixed among the Ghanaian disapora.This embedded cosmopolitanism means there is more than on type of kente cloth society, of linking the local to the global, reclaiming through the cloth territories and flows and of bi-nationalism.
The Kente cloth for some Diaspora communities no longer sacred, increasingly it has become a market based commodity, being made into table cloths, bags, purches, and general clothing items. The original Ghanians who left the country for economic hardship reasons still maintain an emotional attachment to the kente cloth, linking them to their home country. As Diaspora kente communities have become integrated into their new countries, the meaning of the Kente cloth has changed, for some it has become a fashion item to worn at social events, although the symbolic attachment remains to re-affirm attachment to place, which few future generations are likely to go.
The reader will be aware of the Koran and the terrible thing done in its name. As someone from an Islamic background want to explain much misunderstanding of the Koran. The Koran is not just the word of God like the Bible or the Torah ,it represent 1400 yrs of civilization, it is more than a religious text, it is the foundation text of the Islamic civilization .The Koran has few legal injunctions, it is a lifestyle book, it is ideology, it encomposes, moral and ethics, history, politics and economics.
The Diaspora Muslim communities like kente cloth communities have shared values, off dress sense,marriage,politics,finance, ,customs,traditions,food,culture,ethics,morals,lifestyle choice. The Koran is more than symbolism, it binds Muslims to the wider Islamic community of the the Umma
The Koran as an object of association will continue to have influence, not because it represents the ultimate truth or has hidden meanings, like the Kente cloth. The Muslim communities no matter how diverse or where they are will have something in common with each other that the Koran represents, be it Friday prayers, Ramadan, the festival of Eid, or collecting the poor tax, zakath, and ultimately it links every Muslim to the birthplace of Islam Mecca. This is the reason why Muslims all over the world identify themselves as Muslim first and of nationality second.
Like the kente cloth, the Koran represents the hidden power of economics and politics which determines all societies, it binds and subjugates its adherents towards a common purpose, to do well and expand Islam.
Think of gravity which is invisible and everywhere, without it which we would not be here, everything in the Islamic civilization can be traced back to the Koran, its simple universal prescriptions for all its followers makes the Koran a very powerful tool for the Muslim disapora.imagined and real Muslim communities now exist all over the world
The Comerton residents have shown how strong the emotional ties to the local landscape. The forests dotted on the landscape ,for the locals represent their historical link to the past of mining, the trees have come to represent for the locals fixed features which they want to preserve, attempts by authorities to change the area has been met with strong resistance
The kente cloth for the Asante tribe represents their history, culture, traditions, language, sense place and belonging to Ghana
The Koran links every Muslim to 1400-years of history and civilization, its simple rules to be followed by every Muslim, which binds them together to common values, moral and religious ethics regardless where in the world.
In our Concept of the Good Society,culture,traditions,objects,customs,rituals,language,food,social values must be preserved as much as possible, as some or all of these things represent your identity,role in life,status in the community,who you are,where you belong.
Kind Rgards Tiger Moto