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Kumasi Craft Villages

December 8, 2010 at 9:22 am
By Yurui Liu

The first half of today was designated as research time. But later in the afternoon the group visited three craft villages outside of Kumasi. The weather in Kumasi is especially pleasant today. The temperature is in the 80s and we no longer feel the draining humidity that was omnipresent when we were in Accra. The first craft village, Bonwire Ntonso, is roughly 20 minutes from Kumasi and is renowned for its kente cloth production. Local cloth makers told us the story about the origin of their special production method of the Kente cloth. Ancient people of the village was inspired by how spiders made their webs and determined to imitate their method. Also, each piece of cloth has different Adinkwa symbolisms on it, thus each piece of cloth has its own different meanings.

Every one of us was immediately surrounded by a huge group of hawkers right after we stepped out of our bus and the whole bargaining did not stop until we came back to the bus again. A lot of us decided to give out Carleton gifts such as Carleton postcards and little pieces of stickers. It really struck me how something so plain and simple as a page of Valentine’s Day stickers would make a Ghanaian child extremely ecstatic. Almost every child was shouting outside of our bus and demanding for more gifts when we were leaving the village. And people would even trade the products they were selling for another Carleton postcard. The poverty depresses me and it was really a life-changing experience to witness the huge wealth gap in Ghana.

The second village, Awiaa, was famous for producing Adinkwa stamps and we saw amazing wood craft at the third village, Asoafua-Assimang. It was almost 6 PM when we arrived at Asoafua-Assimang. Emily and I decided to go down one narrow alley so we could take pictures of the village coming into life with the sunset. We encountered a group of Ghanaian children in a playground and it was really refreshing to have a nice conversation with the innocent children. The sun slowly disappeared from our sight and darkness settled in. And we could hear people laughing in the distance. It was a great experience.

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