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West African inspired print

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first grade lesson

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West African inspired print

  1. 1. West African Inspired Print
  2. 2. West African Countries
  3. 3. Ghana Welcome to Ghana. Located in West Africa, this country is about the size of Oregon. The region’s vast gold deposits first attracted Europeans nearly 550 years ago. The area was called the Gold Coast. Gold remains one of Ghana’s most important natural resources today. There are over 100 ethnic groups living in Ghana. The largest are Akan, Moshi- Dagbani, Ewe, and Ga. The Ashanti tribe of the Akan are the largest tribe and one of the few societies in West Africa where lineage is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors. Listen to music from Ghana!
  4. 4. Ashanti People The Ashanti live in an extended family. The family lives in various homes or huts that are set up around a courtyard. The head of the household is usually the oldest brother that lives there. He is chosen by the elders. He is called either Father or Housefather and is obeyed by everyone. Boys are taught to use the talking drums by their mothers' brother. Talking drums are used for learning the Ashanti language and spreading news and are also used in ceremonies. The talking drums are important to the Ashanti and there are very important rituals involved in them. Girls are taught cooking and housekeeping skills by their mothers. They also work the fields and bring in necessary items, such as water, for the group. The Ashanti have a wide variety of arts. Bark cloth was used for clothing before weaving was introduced. With weaving, there is cotton and silk. Women may pick cotton or spin materials into thread, but only men are allowed to weave. There are different patterns in weaving, each with its own name. Sometimes the pattern represents social status, a clan, a saying, or the sex of the one wearing it. Patterns are not always woven in the cloth. It can also be stamped on in many designs. Pottery is a skill that is taught to a daughter by the mother. There are many stages to making pots and there are many colors of clay available. The Ashanti also do woodcarving and metal casting. Kente cloth has a history going back over 400 years and was the cloth of Kings and still is a traditional ceremonial cloth hand-woven on a horizontal treadle loom. Strips measuring about 4 inches wide are sewn together into larger pieces of cloths. In a total cultural context, kente is more important than just a cloth. It is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, moral values, social code of conduct, religious beliefs, political thought and aesthetic principles. The term kente has its roots in the word kenten which means a basket. The first kente weavers used raffia fibers to weave cloths that looked like kenten (a basket); and thus were referred to as kenten ntoma; meaning basket cloth. The original Asante name of the cloth was nsaduaso or nwontoma, meaning "a cloth hand-woven on a loom" and is still used today by Asante weavers and elders..
  5. 5. Adinkra Symbols The Adinkra symbols are believed to have their origin from Gyaman, a former kingdom in today’s Côte D’Ivoire. The Asante people around the 19th century then took to painting of traditional symbols of the Gyamans onto cloth, a tradition that was well practiced by the latter. Adinkra also means ‘goodbye’ or ‘farewell’ in Twi the language of the Akan ethnic group of which Asante is a part. It has therefore been the tradition of the Akan especially the Asante to wear cloths decorated with Adinkra symbols on important occasions especially at funerals of family relations and friends. This is to signify their sorrow and to bid farewell to the deceased. Today, the Adinkra cloth is not exclusively worn by the Asante people. It is worn by other ethnic groups in Ghana on a variety of social gatherings and festive occasions
  6. 6. Printing with Adinkra Symbols Calabash adinkra stamps carved in Ntonso, Ghana. Anthony Boakye uses a comb to mark parallel lines on an adinkra cloth in Ntonso, Ghana.
  7. 7. Adinkra Symbols
  8. 8. Make an Adinkra Symbol Block Print
  9. 9. 1. Practice drawing some Adinkra symbols 1. Choose your two favorite symbols to fill the squares of your final design 1. Draw symbols large enough to fill the squares peacemaking/ harmony learn from the past
  10. 10. Leave blank spaces for positive shapes Press in for negative shapes_
  11. 11. Roll ink onto your block with a brayer
  12. 12. Press evenly onto your paper and repeat!

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