Jan 25, 2016
Catalog of Various Wood Carvings of Ghana
The wood carving industry in Ghana is an indigenous craft tradition that remains vigorous in a world of rapid change. Wood carving has retained its economic and cultural importance for hundreds of years. Wood is one of the most important materials Ghanaians use in their arts to express their thoughts. Wood is used to carve various items for household use as well as for ceremonial uses. Wood carvings have symbolic, aesthetic and ceremonial values as they are linked to proverbs and other expressive genres of the various Ghanaian languages. While works by Rattray, McLeod, Sarpong, Patton and Kyeremateng have alluded to the symbolic and aesthetic values of Akan wood carving.
The rich and highly varied subject-matter of Akan art represents in different contexts virtually the entire realm of the zoological and botanical environment; domestic, religious and political scenes from Akan society; and a wealth of objects drawn from Akan material culture, both indigenous and imported. Meaning in Akan art, however, extends well beyond mere representational imagery, for most images are typically paired with verbal expressions that can be metaphorically applied to various situations in Akan life. These verbal forms include folk-tales, proverbs, praise names, jokes, riddles, boasts and insults. The famous English philosopher, Francis Bacon (1561-1626) said: "The genius, wit and spirit of a nation are discovered in its proverbs." Proverbs are used to indicate certain beliefs, attitudes, and a worldview. Although proverbs and folk-tales are the inspiration of certain visual arts elsewhere in Africa, the verbal–visual nexus of Akan arts is unique in its variety and pervasive influence.
We are compiling a catalog of a variety of wood carvings from Ghana.
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