On our second day in Tamale Dela said he had heard of a place where women spin and weave. Since it sounded interesting we said great let’s go ….. We arrived and it was basically three women: one spinning the cotton and the two others working the looms. I was definitely puzzled as I had seen weaving cooperatives near Ho that were much more impressive. But then Dela said what was unique about this cooperative was that women were weaving whereas this is traditionally men’s work!! So Felicite, Hanna and Lizette were pioneers …
Then we were going to visit another village where they make the traditional handwoven smock called Batakari, also known as Fugu which is an attire worn a lot in the north of Ghana where we are now. This garment is made of hand loomed strips of cotton. Batakari is considered a mark of power and tradition which some political leaders wear in their party colours to make a public statement. Apparently Kwame Nkrumah declared the independence of Ghana on March 6, 1957 wearing the Batakari. This past March 6th while watching the Independence Parade on tv I saw the present president wearing one…
The smocks are definitely impressive looking…. It is no wonder that traditionally, the Fugu is also worn as a war attire, so it is understood that the protective amulets adorning it creates a solemn and mystical effect during war.
On the way we stopped to check out a hotel we wanted to look at. And there was a market almost surrounding this hotel so we checked that out first… What caught my eye was that part of the market was dedicated to goods handmade out of metal … for some reason this always attracts me so I went to check it out …..
….and then found … treasure!! All kinds of rings of varying sizes and shapes that will provide such intriguing material for jewelry!!
After checking out the hotel we set off again in search of our village that made Fugu … Dela does not consult a map or directions in a guide book ever … he has a way better resource: the locals. He just keeps stopping till he finds the one who can direct him to where he wants to go!! And we definitely find our way; i mean we found a hotel i didn’t know the name of but vaguely knew where it was located … very vaguely. But with Dela’s resource we found it!! He found his man who told him how to get there … Dela started to realize it was quite far away and in fact on the way to Mole Park which was where we were going on our way back to Bolga so we postponed that adventure for later … so stay tuned :)
Instead we headed home … passed the huge gorgeous Mosques, all the millions of motor bikes ….. back to the hotel for an easy afternoon.
Lisa and Dela were so generous in helping me count and measure some of the beads .. this is always a job i don’t look forward to but many hands makes work go by quickly!! Thanks, guys!!