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The Copyright Thing Doesn't Work HereAdinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana$
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Boatema Boateng

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670024

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670024.001.0001

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We Run a Single Country

We Run a Single Country

The Politics of Appropriation

(p.117) Chapter 4 We Run a Single Country
The Copyright Thing Doesn't Work Here

Boatema Boateng

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines ethnic, diasporic, and national identities as the basis for ownership claims of adinkra and kente. Adinkra and kente producers consider their communities, ethnic group, or the Asantehene, as the owners of these fabrics. Ethnic ownership claims become citizen ownership claims when these fabric producers offer their cloth design to Ghanaian artists. The design, however, does not become an endorsement of state ownership. Cloth-producing communities often challenge the ownership of state for their design. As citizens claim these designs as Ghanaian rather than ethnic, they confirm the legitimacy and success of the state’s ongoing project of cultural nationalism.

Keywords:   national identities, adinkra, kente, Ghanaian artists, cultural nationalism

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