My facebook friend and fellow hotelier, who promotes GHANA tirelessly, has posted another great travel vignette on Ashanti:
Chelsea Inn & Suites – Accra This brass ornament was produced by the ancient wax technique by an Ashanti craftsman in Ghana. Originally these kinds of containers were used to keep precious gold dust in them. The lid is decorated with a village scene, where the chief sitting under his umbrella is playing owari, an African game.
The most famous of brass villages is Kofofrom. It is located just 4 km past FOUR VILLAGES INN. In fact that is how it is located in THE BRADT GUIDE TO GHANA. Ya see when author Philip Briggs and photographer wife Ariadne Van Zandbergen were staying at FOUR VILLAGES INN while researching the third edition of GHANA: THE BRADT TRAVEL GUIDE, they were surprised to learn…from us..about this village. Promptly I took Ari to the village where she got pictures. If you have the third edition, check out page 135 for a colour shot of an Ashanti brass Akuaba (doll).
Anyways here’s what author Philip Briggs wrote way back in 2003 when he stayed at FOUR VILLAGES INN:
“Those with an interest in traditional sculpture might want to head out to the small village of Kofofrom, which lies on the Old Bekwai Road roughly 4 km past FOUR VILLAGES INN. The village is famous for its brass moulding co-operative, the main product of which is cremation urns, though statues and other figurines are also made and sell from C25,000 upwards. The craftsmen will gladly show interested visitors how they create the mold, using a combination of beeswax, clay and coconut hairs”
For ages now, probably since we’ve opened, Four Villages has been taking guests to the village. In the old days it was tough, the road not being paved; but now, it’s a dream-just ten minutes down the road.
Four Villages has had a strong relationship with the brass village co-operative largely due to this guy here. He’s Paul Amponsah, head brass smith.
Interested? Four Villages Inn will take you free of charge to enjoy this experience. It’s our support of this little visited, relaxed village. There Paul will take you through the lost wax process and after you will see the finished products at the store-pictured in the background. Since 2003, the store-in the background of the above picture- has come a long way and offers a large selection from “C4 upwards”. This is where the items are made-no dreaded middlemen!