Benjamin Klaus

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Benjamin Klaus


After researching in Ghana, Ben has decided to continue his education and research in West Africa while obtaining a Ph.D. in Anthropology. Ben's research allowed him to combine his love for Ethnomusicology with his interest in social change in West Africa. He gained valuable personal as well as academic experiences: "The friendships I formed with people after listening to their personal stories…are things that I am going to cherish for the rest of my life." Having overcome his fears of traveling and approaching professors, Ben encourages other undergraduates not to be intimidated by research: "It is the most rewarding academic experience that I will carry away with me from UCI." triangle.gif (504 bytes)




This project explores the importance of the Kukyekukyeku Bamboo Orchestra to the socioeconomic life of the Mosomagor community in Ghana, West Africa. The following socioeconomic changes have occurred in light of the establishment of Kakum National Park: 1) a decrease in income, 2) the exodus of young men, 3) a break in kinship relations, and 4) the revival of their traditional bamboo music. As the Orchestra was founded for the main purpose of reaping the financial benefits of tourism, a discussion of tourism's obvious and potential effects (i.e., materialism, commercialism, and urbanization) concludes the paper. The data was gathered during a twenty-day period of observing, interviewing, and participating in the daily lives of the villagers of Mosomagor. The villagers confirmed the changes taking place in the village due to the establishment of Kakum National Park along with the subsequent regulations on hunting and gathering within the boundaries of the Park.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                
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Robert Garfias

School of Social Sciences

Through his research in Ghana, Ben Klaus was able to discover and document a tradition that had died away to such a degree that even the Ghanaian experts in Legon at the Institute of African Studies were surprised. Ghana is composed of a rich and varied set of cultures, which continue to interact with one another in such a manner that change and development is continuous. Ben managed to track down this rare group of performers, who play on a set of tuned bamboo stamping tubes, and document and record their performance. The stamping-tube tradition must have been at one time widespread in West Africa because we know that from it came a number of traditions of stamping tubes in the Americas. Ben's study shows us much about the process of change even in a seemingly very traditional society.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Here are some recordings from Benjamin Klaus' research.  Please download the player from winamp ( to play these music files.
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Kukyekukyeku Bamboo Orchestra

  1. Side Drum.mp3
  2. Pempa.mp3
  3. Pepempa.mp3
  4. Talking Drum.mp3
  5. Bell and Xylophone.mp3
  6. Highlife.mp3
  7. Kwame Nkrume with Highlife.mp3
  8. Recreational Music.mp3

If you wish to view the paper in its entirety, please select the link given to the PDF file. pdf_logo.gif (126 bytes)[Benjamin Klaus.pdf]

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Copyright 1999 by the Regents of the University of California.  All rights reserved.