Ghana is a country with a rich history of craft making. Like many African nations, the craftspeople of Ghana have long traditions of making pottery, carved wood sculptures, woven and printed textiles, drums and jewellery. You can adapt the instructions for many of these art forms to introduce to children in the classroom. Arts and crafts are a fun way to teach students about other cultures.
Adinkra, a type of stamped textiles originally used for mourning, are now quite common for everyday use in Ghana. People carved gourds to make images to be dipped in black ink and stamped on cotton fabric. The images often had significance and told a story or taught a lesson. Students can sketch a design with a personal meaning and carve it into potatoes or rubber blocks to make stamped Adinkra cloths.
African Beaded Necklaces
Traditional necklaces of Ghana and Africa often contain an interesting combination of clay and glass beads, interspersed with local seeds, nuts and shells. Students can collect their own natural materials to turn into jewellery components. Parents or teachers can drill through the objects, or students can glue them to bead caps before stringing.
Kente cloth is a woven textile with highly detailed geometric patterns. If children do not have access to a loom, they can use thin strips of paper to weave into geometric patterns. The different colours of the Kente weavings have meanings. Students can incorporate colours for their symbolic significance.
The pottery of Ghana is often unglazed and primarily valued for its functional use. The natural shades of the clay dictate the colour of the pots. Students can combine clays with compatible firing temperatures to create pottery with subtle colour variations and designs. Focusing less attention on surface decoration will encourage children to experiment with unusual shapes.
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