🇬🇭 JOLINAIKO ECO TOURS: https://www.instagram.com/jolinaikoecotours/
My adventures in the incredible craft villages outside of Kumasi, Ghana continued with a trip to a local weaving village! Join me as I try a traditional West African street food called kokonte and go on a weaving village tour near Kumasi, Ghana!
My afternoon kicked off on the road one hour outside of Kumasi with my guide from Jolinaiko Eco Tours, Isaac, and our driver, Ben. After visiting the craft village of Ahwiaa earlier that morning, our next stop was the village of Ntonsu, where they make craft symbols.
🎥 WATCH: Ahwiaa Craft Village Tour in Kumasi, Ghana – https://davidsbeenhere.com/2021/04/28/video-authentic-ghana-street-food-breakfast-west-african-craft-village-tour-kumasi-ghana/
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The village of Ntonsu is home to people who have been weaving for many generations. It is said that the ancient inhabitants of the village admired the way the Akan folk character Anansi the spider wove its webs and sought to imitate him.
The Akan people created a special, colorful textile called Kente cloth, which dates back to the 11th century. It was worn by West African royalty in the Ashanti Empire by the 17th century. The weavers in Ntonsu stamp the cloth they create with various Adinkwa symbols, each of which has a different meaning.
The cloth they create at the center is beautiful! They do both weaving and printing there. I met up with a man named Kochu, who gave me a tour of the center. They had pots of dye boiling over fires. They get the dyes from tree bark, which they soak and pound into a soft dust, which they then boil.
Then, they strain the water and boil it again! The more they dye it, the more concentrated the dye becomes. They then use the black dye to stamp symbols on the cloth using calabash stamps. There are over 60 symbols in total!
Kochu then stamped pink and blue cloths with three symbols for my daughters: unity, sun, and life. Next, they dry the cloth in the sun. You can also buy Kente cloth that’s already made. The price depends on the size.
Then, we headed to a dedicated weaving village called Adanwomase. I saw some guys making cement bricks. In the visitor center, a local man told me about he history and significance of Kente cloth.
The weavers have to calculate how much of each color yarn they will need for their creations. There are 70 weavers in the village, and they’re all men. I saw men making all kinds of beautiful designs.
Some were white and black, but others had vibrant pinks, purples, and yellows. They work super fast and use both their hands and feet!
I’ve been to weaving centers in Uzbekistan and China, but I’ve never seen one this big. It was really remarkable how talented and proficient they are! I saw guys doing double-weaving and others doing complex triple-weaving. It was fascinating!
Back at the shop, you can guy some Kente cloth. I saw a huge piece for about $340 USD and bought a small one for $10 USD.
Next, we stopped at a shop and got some palm gin. I was feeling off because of the heat and I was fighting off a stomach bug, but I also couldn’t wait to eat!
In the back, I got a dish called kokomte, which is made of cassava flour. Then, I washed my hands and dug in.
The kokomte looked and tasted exactly like fufu, so I couldn’t tell the difference between them. It’s pasty and starchy, and you eat it with meat. I had some goat, which was full of fat and flavor.
It wasn’t spicy but was full of spices. I also really enjoyed the red oil that comes from the palm nut. The gravy and stew were outstanding!
Where have you been?
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My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 13 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,200 destinations in 82 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.
I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.
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