Art and Political Leadership: The Example of the Alake
AbstractAfrican traditional art is apparently an egalitarian venture. So are the products of these arts. What may have eluded the cursory observer, but not lost on the researcher, are the subtle nuances and tonalities of that art as they delineate social categories and individuals. This is the subject of this paper, which seeks to establish the nexus between art and political leadership by an exploration of the example of the Alake of Abeokuta. The paper illustrates that leaders in autochthonous African communities were great patrons of the arts, and more important, conceived of the arts as a major field of experience in the business of political governance. Thus, it establishes the need to reappraise the cultural values of contemporary political leadership in African countries
(J Cultural Studies: 2002 4(1): 185-214) .