Centre for Latin American Studies Andrew Mellon Research Team Holds Workshop on the Tabom

Left to right: Dr. Albert Antwi Boasiako (Department of Modern Languages), Prof. Ama de Graft- Aikins (Dean of IPO), Dr. Joanna Boampong (Director, Centre for Latin American Studies), Princess Heather Mamuna Nelson, Mr. T.T. Quarcoo, Mr. James Nelson, Prof. Daniel Avorgbedor (Department of Music),  and Dr. Benjamin Amakye-Boateng (Department of Music)

As part of activities relating to an Andrew Mellon Research Project it is working on, The Centre for Latin American Studies has held a workshop on the Tabom, an Afro-Brazilian ex-slave returnee community present in Ghana since 1836.   The workshop, held at Casa Hispánica, V.A.O Lamptey Conference Hall on Tuesday October 30, 2018, saw the participation of Researchers, Faculty, students, as well as Resource Persons including a delegation from the Tabom community.

Dr. Joanna Boampong, the Director for the Centre for Latin American Studies and Principal Investigator for the project chaired the occasion.  In her welcome remarks she pointed out the importance and uniqueness of the Tabom to the history of Ghana. She also underscored the significance of the research given that relatively little is known about the Tabom within the country.

In his opening remarks, Resource Person for the workshop, Prof. Daniel Avorgbedor of the Institute for African Studies, noted that the African Diaspora covers more than the geographical spaces that have often been associated with it. He underscored diverse ways by which the Diaspora is manifested and called for a more critical examination of Africa and its history.      

The Tabom delegation, comprising Princess Heather Mamuna Nelson, Mr. James Nelson and Chief Linguist, Mr. T.T. Quarcoo, provided details about the history and life of the Tabom people and responded to questions relating, among others, to their language, culture, and relationship to Brazil.

Members of the research team present, comprising Prof. Ama de Graft-Aikins a social psychologist from the Regional Institute of Population Studies and Dr. Ben Amakye Boateng from the Department of Music expounded on the interdisciplinary approach they have adopted to examine different dimensions of the Tabom peoples.  These include questions relating to socialization among different ethnicities, globalization, transculturation, identity (re)formations, the dynamics of place and space, musical sustenance, and survival mechanisms within marginalized groups.