DER Documentary

A Por Por Funeral for Ashirifie

A Por Por Funeral for Ashirifie launch preview watch a preview

From the Jazz Cosmopolitanism In Accra series
by Steven Feld
color, 60 min, 2009
in English, Ga, Twi
with English, French, Italian subtitles


Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
See pricing information and conditions

Por Por music (pronounced “paw paw”) is named for the honking sound of antique squeeze-bulb car horns, ubiquitous on the wooden lorries of Ghana's early transport history. After electric horns arrived in West Africa a union of bus and truck drivers in the Accra township of La kept the por por horn and invented a jazzy honking. The La drivers only perform Por Por at funerals of their fellow union transport workers. In March 2008 the La Drivers Union Por Por Group lost one of its key members, Nelson Ashirifie Mensah. This film documents the funeral performed in his memory and discusses Por Por's relation to the New Orleans jazz funeral.

This DVD is a part of the Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra Series

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Prix Bartok, Jean Rouch Film Festival, 2010

Related Resources
Filmmaker Site

Other Films in the Jazz Cosmopolitanism In Accra series
Accra Trane Station
The Story of Por Por
J.C. Abbey, Ghana's Puppeteer

Related Films
Siaka, An African Musician
Play, Jankun Play - The Garifuna Wanaragua Ritual of Belize
The Swahili Beat: An Introduction to the History of the East African Coast

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