Adinkra cloth (our thanks to Marcy Prager for sharing these videos)
These clips were filmed in Ntonso, a village near Kumasi. Adinkra is indigenous to the Ashanti and originally black stamps on black cloth were used for mourning.
Now many colorful cloths are used and are worn for all occassions. The comments heard on this clip are in response to a question about the Golden Stool which is believed to contain the soul of the
Ashanti Kingdom. Do you know why the stool is kept hidden? The adinkra stamps all have meanings based on African proverbs. You can order a cloth that sends a message. The cloth is worn over the
left shoulder, toga style.
Krobo glass beads (our thanks to Marcy Prager for sharing these videos)
The Krobo of Ghana are famous for their glass beads. Krobo women treasure their bead collections and might give one away as a special gift, but would never consider selling it.
Fortunately the beads are being made in many workshops, so you can buy them for yourself. The technique looks deceptively easy, but to be a master bead maker takes several years of apprenticeship.
As with many traditional crafts, new ways of producing are creeping in. Clear beads and painted beads are not traditional.
Asafo Company (our thanks to Marcy Prager for sharing these videos)
Dancing the Flags at Aba House. Asafo companies are prevelent in the Fanti areas of Ghana. Originally used to lead villagers into battle, the flags are now used ceremonially.
Each town might have several Asafo companies and each company has it's own flag with pictorial representations of proverbs. Aba House doesn't have it's own flag yet, but our dancers are the best!
Music at Aba House
Aba House kids improvise! Just when we think that the Aba House kids have displayed all of their talents, we are treated to a new surprise. No drums? No problem.
All you need is enthusiasm. Our thanks to Jo Stealey for sharing this video.
Kobi is our renaissance man. He drums, dances, eats fire, does marionette performance and also makes the drums and puppets. He is one of the many talented artisans at Aba House.
Our thanks to Marcy Prager for sharing these videos.