image Film screening and discussion with Steven Feld image Προκήρυξη θέσης μέλους ΔΕΠ του Πανεπιστημίου Αιγαίου στη βαθμίδα του/της Επίκουρου/Επίκουρης Καθηγητή/Καθηγήτριας με γνωστικό αντικείμενο «Κοινωνιολογία του Φύλου»


A POR POR FUNERAL FOR ASHIRIFIE – Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra Series, (3rd of 5)

A film by Steven Feld
color, 60 min, 2009
in English, Ga, Twi
available with English, French, or Italian subtitles
recipient of the 2010 Prix Bartok, Jean Rouch International Film Festival and Société Française d’ethnomusicologie

Produced by Steven Feld/VoxLox and Nii Yemo Nunu/Kotopon Afrikan Images
International distribution by Documentary Educational Resources:
trailer and on-demand streaming:
Kanopy subscription streaming:

Por Por (pronounced “paw paw”) is a music named for the honking sound of antique circular squeeze-bulb klaxon horns, ubiquitous on the wooden lorries of Ghana’s colonial transport history. After electric horns arrived in West Africa a union of bus and truck drivers in the Accra township of La kept their old por por horns, and adding voices and percussion, invented a jazzy honking music performed uniquely during driver funeral wakes, processions, and parades. In March 2008 the La Drivers Union Por Por Group lost one of its key members, Nelson Ashirifie Mensah. This film, made at the request of the La Drivers Union and Ashirifie’s family, and consisting almost entirely of long shot sequences, witnesses the por por funeral performed in Ashirifie’s memory. At the close, Por Por band leader and Union Vice Chairman Nii Ashaii Ollennu and group photographer Nii Yemo Nunu spontaneously view a classic American photographic book and discuss por por’s resonances with the brass band funeral parades of New Orleans.

Ciné-sono anthropologist Steven Feld first encountered por por music and the La Drivers Union Por Por Group in Accra, Ghana in 2005. At that point the music and rituals had existed for forty years, but had never been documented in sound or film, only in black and white still images by the group’s photographer, Nii Yemo Nunu. Feld and Nunu began to work together, first producing the 2007 CD Por Por: Honk Horn Music of Ghana for Smithsonian Folkways (presented to Ghana as a 50th independence anniversary gift from the US government). This was followed in 2009 by a second CD, Klebo!, and the film A Por Por Funeral for Ashirifie. Two additional films followed in 2012, MV Labadi, about Nii Yemo’s father, the distinguished driver and unionist Ataa Anangbi Anangfio, and The Story of Por Por, where 25 elder drivers tell the story of how honk horns evolved from signalling devices to musical instruments. This film and CD are included in Cool Running, a 2020 photographic book by Nunu and Feld about the classic vehicles and honk horn history, accompanied by a digital companion book, Driving is Our Work, with the full transcripts of the driver interviews. The international reach of Por Por music gained fuller recognition with the 2023 CD Horn to Horn, a fusion of por por and rhythm and blues brass in collaboration with The Texas Horns (

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