Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

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Comment by Frankie Carter on February 26, 2014 at 21:44

This article brings back all sorts of memories of my two year spell on the Ghanaian coast in the sixties.

I was so in awe of Ghanaian women who emerged from mud huts on the numerous feast days with their complex braids woven with numerous small gold decorations. These ladies, who also toiled in the coconut plantations with their babies on their backs and ran large families as well as small businesses, had an elegance and poise when wrapped in their wax print cloths that Carnaby Street could never have espoused.

Where do they keep their gold? Buried under their bedcloths in the huts? I never discovered.

My own little ring of ashanti gold I managed to crush in a suitcase... so sad.

Make no mistake - Ghana is a matriarchal society. Could that be why it is always quoted as being Africa`s success story.....?

So nice to see the proper woven kente cloth here instead of just kente printed cotton.

Comment by Eva Baby on February 26, 2014 at 11:54

There is a book named "African Gold" in English, by  Timothy F. Garrard, that shows and describes several West African kingdoms and their Gold treasures. Quite fascinating, also the photos. I wanted to have one of these Malian headdresses worn on weddings and other festivities, (which I have shown earlier on photos) and asked my husband to buy me one on his last trip, but it was impossible (too expensive, because they are all in real gold! I was very surprised, I had not known that it was real Gold, but thought it was brass or some mixture!! There must still be masses of Gold in West Africa, certainly a lot with the Ashanti nobles, but it seems also in Mali!

Comment by Amber-Tiznit on February 26, 2014 at 0:26

An outstanding Article; thanx for sharing.

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