Arts & Culture
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Ghana is renowned for producing the best in authentic African arts and crafts, these range from wood carvings brass works, sculptures, jewellery and a range of textiles.
Craftsmen painstakingly fashion exquisite artistic masterpieces from wood, bamboo, leather, cement and textiles. These indigenous and skilled craftsmen in the country can be found in virtually every village, town and city. Arts and crafts are an integral part of everyday life in Africa; and in Ghana it can be identified with all tribes and regions. Appreciation of arts and crafts is necessitated by cultures and traditions rather than aesthetic possessions and serves meaningful purposes in the communities.
This pivotal role can be seen by the use of Adinkra Symbols. Their visual and communicative symbols portray the philosophical thinking and way of life of Ghanaians. These are used as templates and motifs for textiles, wood carvings, ceramics and ornaments.
Ghana still lives up to its reputation as a country with vast reserves of minerals (gold, diamond, silver, bronze, etc) providing an abundance of resources for artists to produce exquisitely designed contemporary and traditional jewellery.
The traditional cloth identified with Ghana is ‘Kente’. This multi-coloured, hand woven, quilted cloth is central to Ghanaian culture and traditionally worn as a wrap around by both men and women with slight variations. In the modern day Kente is now sewn in a wide variety of styles, ranging from shirts, blouses, and a two piece dress known as the “Kaba and Slit”.
The preservation and telling of Ghanaian traditional culture and art has become increasingly important as the country and people continue to adopt modern and foreign influences. Organisations such as the Nubuke Foundation have been established to provide a space where people can come and explore traditional and contemporary art and culture. The Foundation organises exhibitions, storytelling, poetry reading and a series of workshops to engage a wide range of audiences.
Music and dance is an essential part of Ghanaian culture and it is through this media that historic events are narrated verbally and visually. Traditional music and dance are played and performed both on joyous and sad occasions in an expression of the event and to lift moral. Traditional music has recently given way to highlife and hip life, modern beats and rhythms with an African influence. The former is popular with the older generation and the latter, with younger people.
Other sections in the Arts & Culture chapter:
Traditional stools / Stools and Skins
Kente/ Adinkra cloths /Fugu
Beads / Gold & the Ashanti Kingdom
Focus on an artist - Bernard Akoi- Jackson
Music and Dance