After not buying any death cloth, as the black on black Adinkra Cloth is called, at the Adinkra Village [read that post], we went to the very next village, the wood carving village of Ahwiaa. I think this was the village our family bought stools at 40 years ago. Then they were made of Teak, or Mahogany, but today the wood of choice is cedar, or a soft white wood, that gets stained golden brown. Fox and Suzanne have given us designs to look for, but Anna and Ididn’t know what we wanted. 40 years ago I picked out the “Latter of Death” or “Stairs to Heaven” stool, but I only saw a small scale replica of that stool.
[Stool Carver] – note the white soft wood
The selection was actually a disappointment, we could basically pick between Wisdom Knot, Sankofa, and Gye Nyname, the last two not even being traditional stool designs, but cooped Adinkra Symbols. [Read the entry on Sankofa] [Read the entry on Gye Nyame]. Both Anna and I reject these designs as unauthentic. Finding a quality stools for Fox, Grace and Suzanne took several hours, and in the end the prices were about half those of Accra, and the quality much better. I guess in a few weeks we’ll head back to the Cultural Arts Center [read that post], and bargain hard to find something there that we want. [stool selection] – these are “production” stools, all made from the white wood, and will be stained, and sent to Accra to sell. They were not for sale here.
Here are three stools we did buy:
KONTONKOROWI GWA: The circular rainbow stool – Suzanne had wanted a Queen Mother’s Stool. , which they did not have, but this one looks very close to what she requested. Actually, I think it came from someone’s home. When they first showed it to us, it was dusty, and had numerous water stains in it. 30 minutes later it was all shiny new.
NYANSAPOW GWA: The Wisdom Knot or Reef Knot. It means only the wise can undo a wise knot. This was the stool we bought for Grace. Anna thought it represented her well.
TAFOHENE GWA: The Tafohene’s stool, or the Tafo Chief. Old and new Tafo are near Kumasi. This stool is similar to Grace’s stool, and contains a variation of the Wisdom Knot, again meaning only the wise chief of Tafo can untie it.
Left Hand Injury
Somewhere along the Kumasi trip I injured my left hand wrist, the one that had been doing most of the work since my accident. I’d been warned by Nancy Ann in an email that this sort of thing could, and often happens to people with a brachial plexus injury.
I want to caution you about something that all us BPI people have to deal with everyday. OVER USING your “good” arm. I was in quite a bit of pain this summer (my gardening got out of hand) and my left arm started to have problems too.
So now I’m wearing a brace on my left arm, which is quite amusing because people get confused, and think its my left arm that was injured almost six months ago. I figure its just God’s way of getting that lazy hand into rehab, as I’m now using it a lot more than I was.
I’ve been doing a lot of teaching these days, continuing to co-teach Leadership III at Ashesi, a visiting teacher for the Youth Groups at both Asbury Dunwell Church, and Elim International Family Church; continuing to teach the Youth Singing Group at Elim which did the worship music on the first Sunday, and it went well. I’ve also been doing some print production work for Ashesi, developing a brochure for their Alumni Association, and their 2008-2009 on-line catalog.
Between those two projects – one for the already graduated and the other for the someday to graduate–I’ve really come to understand the magnitude of the miracle that is Ashesi University College. Though it is officially a secular, non-religious based institution, I have no doubt that God played a large part in helping it become what it is today. It exists because God wanted it to, that and a lot of hard work, vision, and support from an amazing collection of very dedicated people.
If you want to contribute to a place that is really making a difference, give to the Ashesi General Fund [click here].