Saturday, July 12, 2008

Impressions of Ghana #1: Sons and Daughters of Africa

I will be posting more updates from our trip througout the coming weeks; however, today's post is the beginning of a new series: Impressions of Ghana. These are pictures from my 2005 and 2008 trips that I have collected into photo essays. Enjoy!

Sons of Drumming
Music, especially drumming, is an important part of Ghanaian culture. Djembe drums (as you see on the left) are one popular type of drum. The children at New Life have learned this part of their culture well. 2005.

Son of Football
Proudly sporting a Fifa World Cup 2006 baseball cap, Agekow is hard at work. Football is not just a popular sport in Ghana. Since their participation in the 2006 World Cup and the hosting of the 2008 Cup of African Nations in Ghana, football has become a great unifier for people all around the country. New Life International Orphanage, 2005.

Son of Poverty

I have no words for this picture; it speaks on its own. Larabanga, 2005.

Son of Hawkers

This young man is emblematic of the throngs of people hawking their goods on the streets of Ghana. They are at the tro tro stations; the toll booths; the bus stops; they are everywhere they can possibly make a profit. Some are mere children, desperate to take home a few pesewas (pennies) for school fees, clothing, and food. Cape Coast, 2005.

Son of Weavers

Kente cloth is the beautiful, hand-woven fabric made throughout Ghana. Traditionally worn by chiefs, the fabric is woven in scarf-like strips that are then sewn together to make clothing. The weaving of the cloth is an intricate and complicated process. 2005.

Sons of the Sea

Along the coast of Ghana, fishing is an enormous part of the economy. Everyday, fisherman go out in their small boats, often using only sails, oars, and teamwork to cast their nets. These young men are hauling in a net full of fish. If only the still image could capture the harmony of the rhythmic chanting that helps them stay in sync. Cape Coast 2005

Daughter of Dance

Traditional dance is yet another important part of Ghanaian heritage. Belinda at New Life is only one of the many children taught this beautiful part of their culture. 2005.

Daughter of Education

For many in Ghana, an education is something of which they can only dream. Madam Grace, former caregiver and headmistress of New Life, gave every part of herself to teach and care for the children there. 2005.

Daughters of the Market

The markets in Ghana are throbbing centers of commerce. It is primarily women who work here, selling everything from fish to snails to fabric. These women work hard to provide for themselves and their families. Kejetia Market, Kumasi, 2005.

Daughters of Royalty

In Ghana, villages and cities are still headed in part by chiefs. However, the chief has a counterpart in Ghana that many don't know about-- the Queen Mother. She is not always the chief's mother, or even a relative, but she is there to help provide council and direction along with the chief. These women are dressed as a Queen Mother would be at a festival or celebration. Shama 2005.

Daughter of God

Religion is an incredible force in Ghana. Whether Christian, Muslim, Traditionalist, or other, Ghanaians are devout in their faith. At Christian schools, such as Sankofa, the children say the Lord's Prayer each morning and afternoon. Eguafo 2008.

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