Asante (Ashanti) History Much of the modern nation of Ghana
ART & CRAFT
The Ashanti are noted for their expertise in a variety of
specialized crafts. These include weaving, wood carving,
ceramics, and metallurgy. Of these crafts, only
pottery-making is primarily a female activity; the others
are restricted to male specialists
Weaving is a highly developed craft, with dozens of standardized and named textile designs. Stamped cloth is also made.
Kente cloth is only worn in the southern half of the country and - as distinct from other forms of traditional weaving - is reserved mainly for joyous occasions.
Traditionally the Kente cloth is a festival cloth worn mainly during the annual and seasonal festivals, which are happy occasions. Today they are not only used for festive occasions but also during the rituals associated with the important events of life; for example, marriage, death, and religious worship. Therefore, it is quite appropriate for outsiders to wear it for religious and festive occasions. ( read more.. )
Adinkra Symbols is one of the highly valued hand-printed and hand-embroidered cloths. Its origin is traced to the Asante people of Ghana and the Gyaman people of Cote’ d’lvoire (Ivory Coast). However, the production and use of Adinkra have come to be more associated with the Asante people than any other group of people. Around the 19th Century, the Asante people developed their unique art of adinkra printing. Adinkra clothes were made and used exclusively by the royalty and spiritual leaders for very important sacred ceremonies and rituals.
Wood carving is divided into many branches, each with its own specialists. Among the major products are wooden sculptures of outstanding artistic quality and the talking-drums (ntumpane).
The famous wooden “stools” are symbolic and ritual objects
rather than items of furniture. “In Ashanti, a generation or
so ago, every stool in use had its own special name which
denoted the sex, or social status, or clan of the owner”