Orientation Course 1 Course Offerings
TICCS CROSS-CULTURAL ORIENTATION
5.00 PM Arrival
6.15 PM Supper
7.30 PM "Bafa-bafa" (a cross-cultural simulation) (KRL & JPK)
8.00 AM Welcome to Ghana and to TICCS (Team)
9.15 AM Tribes and Languages of Ghana (JPK)
11.00 AM Politics in Ghana (JPK)
3.30 PM What to do visiting a chief (SM)
4.30 PM Visiting the Choggu Na (Team)
7.30 PM FILM: "Interview with Jerry Rawlings" with Lodovic Kennedy
8.00 AM Village Markets to World Economy (JPK)
9.15 AM Dos and Don'ts (KRL & SM)
11.00 AM Culture and Development in Ghana (JPK)
2.30 PM Tamale Market and Local Industries (KRL & SM)
7.30 PM FILM: "A week of sweet water"
8.00 AM Kinship Systems in Ghana (JPK)
9.15 AM Gender and Residence in Ghana (SM & JPK)
11.00 AM Non-verbal communication (SM)
3.00 PM Dr. Abdulai's clinic: a culture-specific solution to healthcare
5.00 PM What to do visiting a compound (SM)
5.30 PM Visiting and eating in a local compound (Team)
7.30 PM FILM: "Kumasi Market Women"
8.00 AM African Traditional Religion (KRL)
9.15 AM Witchcraft in Ghana or Religion & Problem Solving (JPK)
11.00 AM Resolving Conflicts in Ghana: with roleplay (AH)
3.30 PM Preparation to visit a Diviner, Visiting a Pito bar, group photo
4.30 PM Visiting a Traditional Diviner
7.30 PM FILM: "Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic"
8.00 AM Stranger and Guest (JPK)
9.15 AM Cross-cultural differences (KRL & JPK)
11.00 AM Friendship: The Importance of Language Learning (KRL)
3.30 PM FILM: "The Drums of Dagbon" Chernoff
4.30 PM The Choggu Dance Troup
6.30 PM Course evaluation, Ghanaian buffet, Party
Orientation Course 2 Course Offerings
Lectures and Events List
1. D. Bafabafa 16. D. "Interview with Flt. Leut. Rawlings"
2. I. Welcome to Ghana and to the TICCS (1981 film)
Course 17. C. Traditional Religion in Ghana
3. C. Village Markets to World Economy 18. D. Cross-Cultural Differences
4. C. Culture and Development in Ghana 19. C. Religion and Problem-Solving in
5. P. Visit to Tamale Crafts and Local Ghana:
Industries 20. A. Staying Healthy in Ghana
6. D. "Kumasi Market Women" (film) 21. C. "Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic" (film)
7. D. Kinship systems in Ghana 22. A. Conflict-Resolution in Ghana
8. C. Residence, Gender Roles and Social 23. A. Stranger and Guest in Ghana
Change 24. L. The Importance of Language Learning
9. C. Non-verbal Communication in Ghana 25. P. The Choggu Dancers:
10. P. Visiting and Eating in a Local 26. D. "The Drums of Dagbon" (film)
Compound 27. C. “Ghanaian Oral Literature”
11. D. "A Week of Sweet Water" (film) 28. P. Visiting a Traditional Diviner
12. C. Tribes and Languages of Ghana 29. I. Evaluation
13. C. Tribal Politics in the North 30. P. Ghanaian Buffet and Celebration
14. A. "Dos and don'ts" in Ghana
15. P. Visiting a Chief's Court
Alternative Lectures and Activities
Political Systems of Ghana Role-play on development Issues: "Fada
Economic Systems of Ghana Milkpowder", "To build a school"
Ghanaian Marriage Customs Ethnographic films
Color Categories and Illness management Use and Misuse of Money
Islam in Ghana Proverbs and Oral Literature in Ghana
African Independent Churches Ghanaian English
Church Statistics in Ghana Relating to Household & Office Staff
African Worldview Brother Trevor’s Wheelchair project
Divination and problem-solving Women and Development in Ghana
Gender Roles and Domestic Relations Handicapped Children Projects in the North
Local visits: Pito bar, Market, "Tinkers" Female Genital Mutilation in Ghana
Role-play on values: "Corruption", "Respect", HIV/AIDS in Ghana
"Police Barrier" Peacebuilding and Reconciliation in Ghana
Role-play on conflict resolution: "The Worker"
Role-play on communication Issues: "The
The TICCS Cross-Cultural Orientation Course is meant to give new arrivals to Ghana an overall "feel"
for the Institute, Ghana and its peoples. It is also useful for Ghanaians who need a broad practical
introduction to the many cultures and languages of Ghana. An explosion of activities, new experiences
and ideas are mediated and made digestible by a knowledgeable, dedicated and involved staff. The
course is eminently practical and entertaining, as well as informative. Participants attend over thirty
sessions including lectures, discussions, visiting field sites, experiencing local music and dance,
ethnographic films, and sampling of Ghanaian cuisine at the African-style buffet.
Formal lecture sessions: 17
I = 2 Lectures pertaining to the course logistics, syllabus etc.
L = 1 Lectures for Language-Learning
C = 10 Lectures for Culture-Learning
A = 4 Lectures for Appropriate Action and Development
P = 5 Practicals including language-use in the community and field-research
D = 7 Discussion sessions, Role-plays, TPRs
S = 0 Supervisions,
Orientation Course 3 Course Offerings
1. D. BAFABAFA: "Bafa" (alternatively "Barnga") simulates the crossing over of cultural
barriers. By being confronted with vivid experiences of cross-cultural barriers, participants are helped
to explore their feelings and to observe themselves in action. The experience also affords an
opportunity to get to know one another informally.
2. I. WELCOME TO GHANA AND TO THE TICCS COURSE: Participants are welcomed
with a short introduction to Ghana and to TICCS, the syllabus, the program, course objectives, the
grounds, logistics, etc. Then they are asked to introduce themselves and state what they want from the
course. As much as possible, the staff tries to offer individual attention to the expressed needs of the
3. C. VILLAGE MARKETS TO WORLD ECONOMY: This lecture offers an inside look at
how African subsistence economies work, and the effect such systems have on various modes of
thinking and acting economically. The concepts of entrepreneurialism, debts, banking and investment,
development and change, in such societies, are contrasted with those of the "developed world," and
such practical matters as gift-giving and labor-management are discussed.
4. C. CULTURE AND DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA: The merits of various theories of
economic and social development are presented with respect to the Ghanaian situation. The "rich vs.
poor" model is shown to be less value-laden than most, and the usefulness of anthropology in
understanding the perspective of the other culture is stressed as a guide toward more appropriate human
5. P. VISIT TO TAMALE CRAFTS AND LOCAL INDUSTRIES: As an activity follow-up to
lecture # 3, participants are taken to a number of crafts shops and local industries around Tamale. They
will meet various artisans at work, including: tanners, potters, tinkers, drummers, cloth weavers, basket
weavers and leather workers. Taking photos and buying local products is encouraged.
6. D. "KUMASI MARKET WOMEN": A Grenada Film Production with excellent shots of
Kejetia market in Kumasi where women reign supreme. Various sub-themes in the film include
polygamy, and the rights and duties of Asante women in the home. Education and economic
entrepreneurialism are shown to be effective forces in the transformation of the traditional values and
patterns which tend to subjugate African women. Over-enthusiasm for women's rights has lead to
cultural inaccuracies. See if you can find them.
7. D. KINSHIP SYSTEMS IN GHANA: The basic Ghanaian kinship patterns are outlined.
Kinship terminology, extended family relations, marriage and polygamy, socializing and raising
children, and care of the elderly are discussed in the context of Ghana's patrilineal and matrilineal
peoples. Factors and conditions such as family size, division of labor, modes of social organization and
leadership are discussed in the light of kinship patterns, and the forces for social and economic change.
8. C. RESIDENCE, GENDER ROES AND SOCIAL CHANGE: Different residency patterns
among various tribes of Ghana are discussed in relationship to historical forces and their special social
and environmental needs. The pros and cons of these patterns are then discussed in the context of
Ghana's present economic and social changes. Understanding such patterns is necessary in order to
make sense of village life.
9. C. NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION IN GHANA: Ghanaian "body-talk,"
onomatopoeia, expressive sounds, posture, bodily movements, social distance, and sign language are
demonstrated and explained. Survival gestures are learned by participants.
10. P. VISITING AND EATING IN A LOCAL COMPOUND: Participants are shown proper
etiquette and procedure when visiting a local compound. These include how to announce yourself,
how to enter a compound and to greet, timing and antiphonal responses in greeting, how to make polite
conversation, when to get to the point, eating with the right hand, and how to make your departure.
Following the demonstration, the group will pay a visit to a local family and demonstrate what they
have learned, receiving a splendid meal for their trouble.
Orientation Course 4 Course Offerings
11. D. "A WEEK OF SWEET WATER": A distinctive "development" film which cites the
example of a village cooperative dam-building project as an attempt to get beyond the usual crisis
management of drought-stricken Sahel. It is especially useful in outlining those usually unobserved
factors like shame, pride, and sensible traditional technology, which are so important for sustainable
development. Sub-themes include female circumcision and the women's role in development.
12. C. TRIBES AND LANGUAGES OF GHANA: A brief survey of the, more than 50,
linguistic and cultural groups in Ghana and the major movements of her peoples in the last 200 years.
Discussion follows on the continuing importance of tribal languages and cultures in a world where
English dominates the media.
13. C. TRIBAL POLITICS IN THE NORTH: The political structures and historical interaction
of states and stateless societies in N. Ghana is presented, and modern political forces and alignments
are discussed in the light of these traditional relations.
14. A. "DOS AND DON'TS" IN GHANA: Besides a list of things not to do or say, and other
things which must be said and done, participants are urged to reflect upon their own expectations, and
to note the big differences. Situational role-plays are used to dramatize appropriate and inappropriate
responses in order to demonstrate how communication breaks down when our expectations are not
15. P. VISITING A CHIEF'S COURT: Participants are shown proper etiquette and procedure for
visiting a chief. These include how to make arrangements for visiting, when to visit, the proper way to
behave when approaching, introducing oneself and conversing. The importance of distributing kola,
the role of the linguist, proverbial speech, and the importance of the elders are also discussed. After the
briefing, the group visits a local chief to show what they have learned. The climax of the tour is a visit
with the chief's wives and a peek at their rooms. Be sure to bring your camera.
16. D. "INTERVIEW WITH FLT. LEUT. RAWLINGS": This is a vintage interview (ci. 1981)
by Ludovic Kennedy of Rawlings the revolutionary. It shows the indignation of the youthful Flight
Leftenant during the Liman administration at the plague of corruption afflicting the public service. Mr.
Kennedy pushes the retired officer on his decision to execute former heads of state in the aftermath of
the "June the First" coup. Can you see an impending "December 31st?" Watch out!
17. C. TRADITIONAL RELIGION IN GHANA: In Africa, religion is as much a part of life as
economics, politics and the family. The tenets of traditional African religion, witchcraft, magic, the
power of the ancestors and various specialized shrines, such as the "Earth" shrines "fertility" shrines,
and divination shrines, are presented, and the persistence of these beliefs into our modern era is
18. D. CROSS-CULTURAL DIFFERENCES: Typical stereotypes about Africans and
Europeans are enumerated and compared. Themes such as the private self, the social self, motivation,
activity, duty and responsibility, goals, planning, judgment, modes of learning, creativity, friendship,
attitudes toward nature, ecology, work, the world, "truth", spirits and women will be explored.
19. C. RELIGION AND PROBLEM-SOLVING IN GHANA: Ghanaians go to diviners to help
them seek solutions to life's most worrisome problems. The dynamics of divination are demonstrated
with regard to some typical problems such as drought, epidemics, barrenness, illness, death, and danger
from theft, accidents, jealousy and hatred. The interference this process of problem-solving runs with
such modern Western processes as medical therapeutics and health care, science and technology, and
other religious beliefs is demonstrated and discussed.
20. A. STAYING HEALTHY IN GHANA: Long-experienced doctors give their advice on how
to stay healthy during your stay in Ghana. Participants are introduced to the main diseases and health-
care problems in Ghana. The prevention of, and most effective treatment of various diseases such as
malaria, waterborne diseases, parasite infestation are carefully explained.
21. C. "WITCHCRAFT, ORACLES AND MAGIC": An Andre Sanger production of a Grenada
Film based on the famous 1930s study of African Religion by Oxford anthropologist, E.E. Evans-
Pritchard. If nothing else, the film proves that the theme is as vital in Africa today as it was 60 years
Orientation Course 5 Course Offerings
ago. The important paradox that African Religion does thrive alongside modern World Religions and
Western high tech is probed in an interview with an Azande Catholic priest.
22. A. CONFLICT-RESOLUTION IN GHANA: It is important to know how to avoid trouble or
make enemies. But when you do get into trouble (and you will), it is even more important to know
how to get out of it. This is the PhD work of anthropologist Allison Howell, who will enthrall you on
how various Northern peoples go about settling their differences and re-establishing harmonious
relations. Discussion proceeds with an eye to happily resolving unpardonable mistakes perpetrated by
the average expatriate.
23. A. STRANGER AND GUEST IN GHANA: The sometimes irreconcilable differences
between the two roles of stranger and guest are the tightrope which every expatriate in Ghana walks.
We come in low-context, highly-powered roles, in the minds of the people associated with the
"suspicious stranger." Learning how to act the guest and form deeper relationships with the people,
learning how to manage these two roles situationally, stressing one or the other depending on the
context, learning how to be at home in each guise, and learning how to deal with the emotional stress
involved is essential if you want your stay here to be a fulfilling experience.
24. L. THE IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE LEARNING: The best way to move into the
guest role, and from there into "bonded relationships," is to become a language-learner. Language-
learning is socially therapeutic. It reduces high-profile roles with the high-context, low-power role of a
learner, thus evoking trust and acceptability. Language is the key to the culture and it gets things done.
Speaking the language opens up a new world to the expatriate in Ghana, a world of new friendships
and insider roles. Participants are introduced to the next part of the program, that of Language-,
Culture-, and Action-Learning.
25. P. THE CHOGGU DANCERS: The local dance troupe from Choggu village demonstrates a
variety of dances. In between sets, some of the history and context of these dances is presented by one
of the staff. Better watch out! Participants will be invited to join in. Bring your cameras and dancing
26. D. "THE DRUMS OF DAGBON": A stylish, evocative treatment of the drum and drummers
among the Dagomba of Northern Ghana. Most of the footage was done right here in Tamale! The
importance of drummers in ritual activities such as at funerals, at state functions, and at celebrations
such as the making of a chief and at "Damba", and on moonlit lights when people are just plain having
fun, is demonstrated in grand style.
27. C. ORAL LITERATURE IN GHANA: Ghana has a rich oral tradition. The philosophy and
worldview of the people is incorporated in their proverbs, stories, riddles, dirges. Some of the major
themes are covered in this fascinating lecture by KRL who has been collecting this rich trove over the
last 30 years.
28. P. VISITING A TRADITIONAL DIVINER: Participants engage in discussion with a
Dagomba traditional religious specialist with the objective of better understanding the viewpoint of the
people and the ways they go about solving their problems. After explaining the various objects and
paraphanalia used by the diviner to “see into the spirit world” the diviner consults his divination shrine
for answers to potential and assumed problems and difficulties of the participants. Participants are
encouraged to ask the diviner anything about the shrine itself or what he might be able to tell them
about their past or future.
29. I. EVALUATION OF ORIENTATION: By means of open forum discussion and in written
format, participants express their feelings about the course-segment as a whole, the effectiveness of the
lectures, activities and discussions, the quality and performance of the lecturers, helpers, and teaching
assistants, and the utility and comfort of the facilities.
30. P. GHANAIAN BUFFET AND CELEBRATION: The course-segment closes with a buffet
of typical Ghanaian foods including different kinds of "fufu," yams, plantain, and jellof rice together
with various other preparations such as groundnut soup, palmnut soup, agushi stew, palaver sauce,
kontumire stew, alefu stew, okra stew and bean stew; finally fruit salad. Then it's to the dance floor for
some hot "Highlife" music and cold Club beer.