Connect the dots

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Asante Arts

If the market wasn't big enough, the rest of Kumasi just seems like overflow of the main market. Streets are crowded with people selling everything from fried plantains to housewares. And the traffic is worse than any rush hour I've ever been in - and it's all day! We decided to head out of city to the surrounding craft villages.

We made our way east about 20 km to the small village of Besease, just past Ejisu to see a typical Asante shrine house. Sadly, there are only about 10 left in existence. During the wars with Britain, they were destroyed and never built again. Fortunately, they are now protected as World Heritage sites.

These homes are simply done with interior walls adorned with Adinkra symbols made out of cane and plaster and sharply pitched thatched roofs. A caretaker of the house was eager to show us photos of previous visitors and posed for our camera. Fetishes such as sheep/goat's vertebrae hung from the walls and live turtles in the courtyard provided extra authenticity.

We passed Bonwire, the home of Kente cloth and proceeded to Ntonso, a village known for Adinkra cloth. The cloth is stamped with various symbols representing proverbs. We were able to participate in making some Adinkra of our own.

No comments:

Post a Comment