To be fair, I once again didn’t quite do all my homework. I knew that the Tafi Abuife Kente Village was in the Volta region and I already knew we’d be in the area because of the location of the Wli Falls.
However, I didn’t take into account just how far the village was from our location: about a two-hour round trip. Which, isn’t really a big deal for a full outing, but in retrospect, was a bit far for the five minutes we spent there.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself…
My last post ended with the bruised and battered return of our friends from the four-hour hike to the upper falls. After a round of showers, we set off for the kente village around noon.
About an hour later we arrived at a small warehouse. While our driver talked to some men who, up until our arrival, had been sleeping inside, I walked around and snapped some pictures.
It was interesting to see how much space was needed for these looms. Also, while the second and fourth photo show what I’ve come to consider as “typical” Ghanaian kente cloth designs, I had never seen the first design before.
We had assumed we’d arrive, see how the production of the cloth happened, and then browse through a store or market for the finished product. Wrong.
It was clear that Saturday is not a typical day to observe…given that the only people inside the facility were napping. We were told that in order to receive a tour, we needed to go to the head office down the road, pay, and then return. We were escorted out.
I have to admit, the office was pretty cool. Painted in bright colors, I enjoyed the details. However, having seen the workshop and the condition of the workers, we were not at all sure of the quality of the tour and decided to merely browse the kente cloth they put on display for us.
I bought a couple of slightly overpriced (even after bargaining them down) pieces. I was happy with my selection, having never seen the designs before, but I can’t say I would whole-heartedly recommend the experience to anyone. To top it off, I had to use the restroom and was told there was none.
Forty-five minutes later, our driver found a gas station and I was able to pee. Four hours after that, we were back in Accra.
A few days later, we took our guests over to Osu and spent the day wandering around.
Clearly, the fabric has nothing in common with the kente cloth, but you can do so much more with it! With our guests here, shopping up a storm, I went on a cloth binge myself. Below are some of the designs I bought. I haven’t decided what to turn them into yet, but I have plenty of time here to figure it out.