Monday, March 5, 2012


On Friday, at 7 AM, we set off for Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti region and the second largest city in Ghana. The traffic-induced six hour bus ride was particularly interesting on windy roads. To get to Kumasi, you climb and descend  several substantial hills. The switchbacks were not doing much for a lot of our stomachs!

While Kumasi appeared as chaotic and congested as Accra, for some reason, I think I prefer it. Kumasi seemed more vibrant and inviting. We saw the city and its HUGE central market and went to the Asantehene Palace and Cultural Center.

 Kumasi is the epicenter of Ghanaian trades/crafts, so we stopped in several craft villages.

Stop one: Bonwire, Kente Weaving

Fun fact, only men weave kente cloth because women do not fit in the looms when pregnant. The looms brought back fond memories of the carpet weaving Mumee and I witnessed in Turkey.

Stop two: Ntonso, Adinkra Cloth

Ink made from the bark of baobab trees is used to stamp symbols onto cloth. 

I didn't do any stamping here, so I had some extra time on my hands while others stamped and waited for their cloth to dry. I befriended some local boys and took this picture of them before leaving. I think it is my favorite picture I have taken here so far.

Stop 3: Ahwiaa, Wood Carving

Villagers work in open workshops outdoors, each specializing in a particular type of carving.

You don't see this type of craftsmanship in the U.S. very much anymore, you're lucky if you don't see "Made in China" stamped or printed somewhere. These crafts I saw (and purchased, hehe) were made locally and embody the richness of Ghanaian culture. We value industry and efficiency, and that can be great, but you lose a lot in the process. 


  1. so I just spent a good while catching up on reading your blog!! i am sososoososo proud of you!! i wish i could mail you some gelato. The waterfall picture looked so pretty!! miss you SO MUCH! and LOVE YOUU