Gifts from Wales & Fair Trade Gifts from the World


GHANA

We work directly with the craftworkers who produce our hand-crafted woodcarvings, and ensure that they get a fair price for their work.

Most of the woodcarvings are made from wood found in the forests of the Ashanti Kingdom and are crafted in the city of Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti region. In keeping with the Ghanaian Government's support for handicrafts, the general rule is that three trees have to be planted for every one cut down for use in woodcarvings.

Former hunters are now used for conservation and the policing of these policies in the Rain Forests. In this way, environmentalists are seen as the friends, rather than enemies of local people.

Because of the varied plant life in the area, Kumasi is known as "The Garden City." It is located in the south-central part of the country, about 250 km (by road) northwest of Accra. Lake Bosumtwe, the largest natural lake in Ghana, is located approximately 32 km north of Kumasi.

With a population of 862,000 (2005), Kumasi is the second-largest city in the country. The largest ethnic group is the Ashanti, but other ethnic groups are growing in size. Approximately 80% Christians and 20% Muslims, with a smaller number of adherents to traditional beliefs. It is an Anglican diocesan and Roman Catholic archdiocesan see.

Kumasi is an important historical centre for Ghana. The Manhyia Palace, the seat of the King of Ashanti and members of the royal family are situated in the northern part of the city. The Palace has a courtyard and a courtroom where matters dealing with the constitution and customs are deliberated upon by the traditional council.

Visitors can get a good insight into traditional African democracy, with meetings open to the public, when they visit the courtyard. Ashanti kings have never lived in luxury, and visitors are often surprised by how sparse and unpretentious the palace is. The current king lives in a more recent palace directly behind the old one.

The city's major attraction is the National Cultural Center, a 10 minute walk west of the market. The sprawling complex encompasses a fascinating museum of Ashanti history, a popular library, an excellent crafts shop and an exhibition hall. Classes in traditional dance and drumming are available. One of the centre's more interesting exhibits is the fake golden stool used to trick the British, who'd heard that the real Golden Stool held the strength of the Ashanti empire and demanded it be brought to them.

It was decades before they discovered the ruse. The real stool is kept at Manhyia Palace and is brought out only on special occasions. It's so sacred that not even the king is allowed to sit on it, and it's never allowed to touch the ground. There's a photo of it in the museum.

In the villages around Kumasi, artisans specialise in crafts such as goldsmithing, wood carving, cloth printing and weaving. Bonwire is the place to go for kente cloth, Pankrono is best for pottery, Ahwiaa for woodcarving and Ntonso for adinkra cloth.

Half a kilometer to the west, the Anokye Sword sticks out of the ground exactly where - according to legend - the Golden Stool descended from the heavens to mark the beginning of the Ashanti people. Legend has it that if the sword is ever pulled out, the Ashanti kingdom will disappear.

Lake Bosumtwi, the largest natural lake in Ghana, is about 32 kilometres southeast of Kumasi. The Ashantis believe that the souls of their dead come to the lake to say goodbye to god called Twi. One theory says that the huge meteorite formed the lake. Another says that it is the crater of an extinct volcano.

Though it's over 250km north-west of the capital, Kumasi is Ghana's second largest traffic hub. There are several flights per week to Accra and Tamale, as well as buses, trains and taxis. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

GhanaGweithiwn yn uniongyrchol gyda’r cylchoedd o grefftwyr sy’n creu’r cerfluniau pren er mwyn sicrhau masnach deg iddyn nhw a phris teg i’n cwsmeriaid.

Mae Ghana’n wlad o dair rhanbarth ddaearyddol. Ar hyd arfordir y de y lleolir y brif-ddinas Accra a’r porthladdoedd sy’n ganolbwynt gweithgarwch economaidd. Ceir yma hefyd hen gestyll yr Ewropeaid a drefnai gludo caethweision o’r trefi hyn i Indiaid y Gorllewin. Yn y gogledd o’r wlad, fe geir yr ardal sych Sahel sy’n cyffinio a Burkina Faso. Rhyngddynt y mae’r Coedwigoedd Glaw sydd wedi edwino’n enbyd yn ddiweddar.

Cadwyn in discussions with John & Francesca Koranteng, who do the marketing on behalf of the artisans.
Cadwyn yn trafod gyda’r artistiaid o dan coeden ym maes yr Amgueddfa Genedlaethol

Daw’r rhan fwyaf o’n cerfluniau pren o’r ardal hon yng nghanol y wlad. Dyma deyrnas hanesyddol yr Ashantis o gwmpas Kumasi – ail ddinas y wlad. Erbyn hyn mae datblygui crefftau yn rhan o Weinyddiaeth Datblygu Economaidd y Llywodraeth Ganolog, a rhoddir pwys mawr ar gadwraeth.

Am bob coeden a dorrir ar gyfer y gweithdai cerfluniau pren, fe blennir 3 choeden ychwanegol. Defnyddir cyn-botsiwyr i sicrhau gweithrediad y strategaeth hon ac fel hyn gwelir cadwraeth fel partner i fuddiannau pobl leol yn hytrach nag yn rhwystr. Mae Cadwyn yn ychwanegu at y strategaeth hon trwy gomisiynau crefluniau llai o faint (tua 30cm) sy’n cynnwys holl gywreinrwydd y cerfio heb wastraffu coed.

Batik Cards Burkina Faso

Cristnogion yw mwyafrif mawr y bobl yn y rhanbarth hon, ac fe dreiddia eu ffydd I bob rhan o fywyd – weithiau’n codi gwen ar wynebau tramorwyr. Fel welwch hen fysus sydd I’w gweld ar fin torri I lawr yn dwyn y geiriau “God never fails” , a sawl bar gydag enw fel “The Great Provider” !

Kumasi yw’r ganolfan hanesyddol bwysicaf yn y wlad, ac y mae’r cerfluniau’n portreadu bywyd Affricanaidd traddodiadol. Dyma oedd prifddinas y brenhinoedd Ashanti a lywodraethodd hyd nes eu disodli yn y 19eg gan y Saeson.

Symbol eu hannibyniaeth oedd y Stol Euraidd Ashanti a ddisgynodd, yn ol chwedl, o’r nef yn ymyl Kumasi. Mynnodd y Saeson feddiannu’r stol wedi gorchfygu’r bobl er mwyn dangos mai nhw bellach oedd yn llywodraethu. Gohiriodd y bobl Ashanti y trafodaethau am fis gan ddefnyddio’r amser i gynhyrchu ffug stol i’w rhoi i’r Saeson. Cadwyd y gwir stol ac fe’I cedwir o hyd ym Mhylas Brenhinol Manhyia.

Mae’r brenhinoedd Ashanti’n dal yn weithredol heddiw o’r un plas – mewn trefn gyfochrog gyda llywodraeth suful, fel ag sy’n digwydd yn gyffredinol yng ngwledydd Gorllewin Affrig lle gwelwn penaethiaid traddodiadol a ffurfiau ar lywodraeth suful yn gyfochrog. Mae bywyd y brenhinoedd yn syml iawn a’u plas yn agored I’r cyhoedd yn enghraifft o ddemocratiaeth Affricanaidd ar waith.

Yn ardal Ashanti Kumasi, fe geir y rhan fwyaf o’r cerfwyr pren traddodiadol ac fe drosglwyddwyd eu medrau o genhedlaeth I genhedlaeth. Gall rhan fach o’r deyrnas Ashanti fod gyda chwi.

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