A THREE-MONTH long exhibition of Kente textiles from Tsiame in the Volta region has opened at the Nubuke Foundation, in Accra.
The exhibition is for the general public, families and students to indulge their senses, and learn about Kente in Ghana today as seen through the eyes of the people of Tsiame.
The exhibition also tells the story of the Tsiame community and what they have been able to achieve from the beginning till date including the different types of dying technique used for the
kente cloth. Some of the cloths tell the story of the Anlo people.
Over the years weaving has become the soul of the Tsiame people and therefore any attempt to take away the art of weaving would be taking away the soul of the community therefore there is the need to sustain the activities of the community.
According to one of the weavers, Moses Kofi Afanyo, Kente weaving is the cultural practice of the people of Tsiame. He gave a brief history of the Tsiame weaving community and told of how after discovering the potentials of the weavers decided to find market for them. He said the
community was a unique community with a unique culture and gift.
Opening the exhibition, Prof Asare Akuffo commended the Nubuke Foundation for providing the platform and space to nurture Ghana’s culture adding that he was happy that the exhibition was about Kente.
He noted that kente weaving was part of the Ghanaian culture, “Kente weaving is an aspect of the enviable creative heritage left for us by our ancestors” he said.
He commended the weavers for their creativity but expressed regret that as a people there is nothing to show for our creativity except for copying what others have done and discouraged the habit of copying and imitating others.
Prof Asare advised that “We should pay attention to the creativity and resourcefulness of our ancestors” adding that the kente cloth was not just about the design but the story they tell and represent.
As well as the exhibition, visitors can watch a video documentary on the Tsiame weavers, take part in weaving workshopsand even get the opportunity to buy many of the unique textiles on display.
Kente, with its vibrant colours and intricate patterns, is at the heart of Ghanaian culture, representing centuries of traditional weaving technology and design. The weavers of Tsiame in the Volta region are immensely skilled in the creative art upon which they depend yet, like many similar communities throughout Ghana; their livelihoods are under threat from decades of declining trade and competition from imported cheaper alternatives.
The history of Kente in the Tsiame community in the Volta region is captured poignantly through the lives of a dynasty of weavers for many centuries right through to today's generation.
The patrons of the weavers, master weavers and women in the Kente industry played their part alongside Nubuke Foundation to bring this landmark arts event into being and the Kente cloth on display represents the fusion of traditional skills with new creative approaches, a testimony to a living, growing art form.
THE NUBUKE Foundation, a non-governmental institution founded in 2006 to promote Ghanaian culture and heritage.
Source: Benjamin Konadu Arthur
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