Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kenta Weaver and Market Day

The Kenta Weaver and the Friday Market in Ho

        One of the unique things to see in Ghana is a Kenta weaver. They use a very fine thread, weaving the different colors by hand on a loom that they control with the toes of their bare feet. The motion of the feet is similar to the concept of a treadle sewing machine when the hands and feet are doing something totally different. The main treads are tied to a stone that is placed maybe 25 feet from the loom. As the strips of cloth are woven this heavy block is slowly pulled along the ground.
        The cloth is woven in strips about eight inches wide. The strips are then sewn together to create desired sizes of cloth for various uses. The most impressive is the use of one single piece made of many strips that are worn by men as a full length toga, wrapped around, ground length and thrown over one shoulder, the other shoulder is bare. Different tribes will have different designs like the clans of Scotland and their tartans.
        The young weaver's name is Holy and he and he has his uncle working by him on the second loom. You can see how slender the uncle is but the muscles in his arms tell you the strength that is required to weave and pull that stone.

        In a small little cubicle nearby is the dressmaker. She is the wife of Holy.  She really has a fine business because she has an enclosed area all by herself and a treadle machine, a Butterfly, made in China. Her portable machine is only hand cranked and she will put it on her head and go from house to house when she needs to make or repair something for a customer. I can't even imagine carry a sewing machine on your head, yet they never falter or miss a step. It is surprising how well the clothes are made. She uses no pattern, just the client's measurements and maybe an idea from a picture.

        Every village has their market day. We walked around the one in Ho in Friday. There are shoppers, vendors and all kinds of smells. The smell of the smoked tilapia was somewhat hard to take but other than that it wasn't that bad. I usually ask some one if I can take their picture. The lady with the large Ghanaian snails wouldn't let me take the snails' picture. They are different, 4-6 inch shells. She held one up and it came quite a ways out of its shell and its "lips" were moving in and out like it was trying to speak. I'm sure he would have liked to pose for a picture.
Pounding Cassava for fufu

Fufu formed into dough for soup

The soup


Palm nuts used to make palm oil

Plantains not bananas

Sweet potatoes


Beautiful peppers

Interesting women

They have leafy vegetables. We don't eat it.

More peppers

Bread lady

More and more people

Little bags of groundnut paste

        We were excited because we were in need of a dish drainer and we found on. When the lady said 15 Cedis we did not even barter. It had been around for quite a while but we knew it would scrub up and be just fine.


No comments:

Post a Comment