Jan 25, 2016
Asante Craft Villages
There are several crafts villages near Kumasi. They were originally established centuries ago to provide regalia for the king and his court and are still active, although now anyone who can afford them can buy the crafts.
The crafts villages surrounding Kumasi include:
Adanwomase – 25km NE of Kumasi off the Mampong Road – Kente Weaving
Bonwire - 18km NE of Kumasi – Kente weaving
Pankronu – 3km N of Kumasi – pottery
Ahwiaa – 6km N of Kumasi – woodcarvings
Ntonso – 18km N of Kumasi - Adinkra clothe making
Asuofia/Asamang – Barakese Road – bead making Ampabame Krofrom – 10km from Ahodwo – brass smiths Goldsmiths and Silversmiths can be seen in Kumasi.
Asokwa – in the sawmill area of Kumasi - adinkra cloth production.
The kente cloth is woven on a narrow horizontal loom. The loom usually uses four sets of heddles (asanan), but in special cases, six or seven sets of heddles (asasia) may be used.
The cloth is woven in narrow strip (called ntomaban) that is about 3-5 inches wide and about 5-6 feet long. Several strips are sewn together to make a wider piece of cloth for both men and women. A man's cloth may contain up to 24 strips and measure about 5x8 feet. The woman's two-piece cloth may contain 8-12 strips each piece.
It is very important that every weaver knows the processes of preparing to weave and weaving. What differentiates a novice from a skillful weaver is that the skillful weaver is both skillful and knowledgeable about the entire process of weaving.
These skills and knowledge in kente weaving is passed through both informal and formal processes. In the kente weaving areas in Ghana learning to weave starts very early in childhood.
Master Weaver Ekooba Gyasi, with the support of CEFIKS, has set the Bonwire Kente Weaving Institute to pass on the knowledge and skills involved in kente weaving. He has 20 weavers at the Institute.
The Kumasi National Cultural Centre is considered as the show piece for Ghanaian culture. The sprawling complex encompasses a fascinating museum of Ashanti history, a popular library, an excellent crafts shop and an exhibition hall. Classes in traditional dance and drumming are available. One of the centre's more interesting exhibits is the fake golden stool used to trick the British, who'd heard that the real Golden Stool held the strength of the Ashanti empire and demanded it be brought to them. It was decades before they discovered the ruse.
Our community initiative in this region revolves around the Bonwire Kente Weaving Institute.
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