Beyond Repair: Gankogui

The gankogui is a metal percussion instrument from the Ewe people in Ghana. It is made of two metal bells – one large and one small – fused together at the neck where a long thin handle is attached. Like many other metal tools in Ghanaian society, it is crafted by a blacksmith, who sources the material from scrap metal from cars, broken farm tools such as hoes and machetes, and even from other broken gankoguis.

Beyond Repair: Examining Brokenness in Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are designed to be played: to be hit, struck, blown, and handled by humans in a variety of ways. Over time, this repeated interaction in combination with environmental conditions can have a tangible effect. Just as with any physical object, an instrument’s material – whether wood, metal, animal skin, or other – wears down, weakens, and breaks over time. Sometimes these issues can be fixed, but in other cases the instrument is beyond repair.

DAC Collection Highlight: William Henry Fox Talbot’s Lace

William Henry Fox Talbot, Lace, ca. 1845. This image of lace is an example of a calotype, an early photographic technique. William Henry Fox Talbot, the author of this work, invented the calotype in 1841 as a competing medium to the daguerreotype, another early photographic technique, in which an image imprinted on thin metal. To … Read moreDAC Collection Highlight: William Henry Fox Talbot’s Lace