Gone are the days when we sat outside in the evening under the full glare of the moon and stars and listened to the exploits of our forefathers. It was such a nostalgic feeling that leaves one wanting more. Unlike today, where modernism has seen us abandoning all these in the name of archaic. During this storytelling, we learned a lot from comedy to real-life happenings, moral values, crafts they indulged in, and many more.
To start with the art of blacksmithing. Visits to the blacksmith have always met the clanging of hammers hitting on surfaces and the sizzling sound of something cooling off from being drenched in water and it is always with joy as passersby, most especially kids play along to the sound from the working place. These blacksmiths are experts when it comes to the making of farm equipment like shovels, cutlasses, and also household utensils like iron pots, Metallic spoons, and what have you, they will forge exactly what you want especially in cases where your pots and the rest have broken. A trip to their workshop with these things will leave you grinning from ear to ear when they are done. Their work is noisy yes, but nothing like what the profession has been molded today.
Another craft that was widely practiced and has transcended the days of old to this era is the art of kente weaving, a pride of the country and its indigenous people. Rumor has it that, this craft was learned from the work of the spider but as to how true it is, one can never tell. There are however few likenesses of a weaved spider web and the cloth in question. Although the craft has migrated to different regions now, it is originally from Bonwire, a district in the Ejisu Juaben municipal in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Works of art are in full motion when doing this work as different colors are blended, weaved, and put together to make this craft. Shapes like zig-zag, diamonds and so more characterize the form this cloth comes in. Things like metallic yarn, rayon, and silk are some of the materials used. Royalty adorns these clothes to stand but now, one can have access to it if one wants them. Weddings, churches, naming ceremonies, and festivals are but a few places one can showcase this cloth. As Joseph had his cloth of many colors, so do we Ghanaians have our pride in Bonwire kente in many colors.
Basket weaving is also one of the many crafts our fathers took up. This craft though not originally from Ghana, became a want for our mothers, especially when doing piggybacking and carrying foot stuff from the farm as well. They needed something light, not too in the way as such, they can get home early, and prepare their evening supper as was the norm in the olden days. Also, they serve as a source of earnings for those who could afford the time to sell at markets.
Our forefathers indeed caved a lot of paths, some of which we are still enjoying through the proceeds from the treasures kept at museums and the rest as such, whenever the need arises, we should not hesitate to look back like one of the Akan symbols say” Sankofa y3n kyiri” meaning, the past has a lot of potentials and should be revisited with pride.