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Културни следи по света

Ghana – The Blessed Land with a Vibrant Culture, Part 2 of 3

2021-06-23
Език:English

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Where did the kente cloth originate? A popular legend traces it back to the Ashanti Kingdom’s first ruler, His Majesty Osei Tutu. He invited weavers from across the region to visit the neighboring Ivory Coast to expand their weaving skills. The spider offered to teach the men how to weave the designs in exchange for some favors. The kingdom adopted their creations, and kente became a royal cloth reserved for special occasions.

Ghanaians have developed over 300 patterns, each conveying a particular message, reminding people of important virtues and wisdom. For example, a reflecting zig-zag pattern is called “Obi nkye obi kwan mu si” which means, “To err is human.” This design symbolizes forgiveness, conciliation, tolerance, and patience. Various artists and prominent leaders are known to wear kente clothing at public events.

Adinkra symbols were pioneered by the Bono people of Gyaman. Gye Nyame, meaning “except for God,” is a symbol expressing the omnipotence of God and reminds everyone to fear nothing except for God.

One of the most significant symbols of kente cloths “Sankofa” or “Go back and get it” is a bird with feet facing forward, head turned backwards, and its mouth carrying a precious egg. This icon embodies the proverb “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates to “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” Although many past traditions and cultures have faded away, the people of Ghana and Africa are encouraged to embrace their roots and regain knowledge of their cultural identity. The Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (HACSA) uses the Sankofa symbol in their logo.

“The Door of Return” is another initiative that seeks to connect Africa with the Diaspora, and advance African economic development. The 70-year-old music icon, Stevie Wonder, is a celebrity that has made plans to relocate permanently to Ghana. In Ghana, music and dance are an essential aspect of life. Throughout the year, there are scheduled festivals and several rites and rituals that are performed to mark the passage of life. These include celebrations for childbirth, puberty, engagement, marriage, and death. Citizens from the north prefer to use string and calabash instruments, while those from the south mostly use drums and gongs. The Ewe people believe that this can become a mind-nurturing exercise that helps balance human thought and emotion in the challenges of life.

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