Kumasi Things to Do

  • Brass caster Paul in Krofrom
    Brass caster Paul in Krofrom
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  • Kumasi downtown
    Kumasi downtown
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    The fontaine in Kumasi market
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Best Rated Things to Do in Kumasi

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    Ashanti Cultural Arts Center: Batik Cloth

    by atufft Updated Mar 22, 2007

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    Batik Being Made at the Cultural Arts Center
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    The African cotton fabrics are in general wonderful for their rich colors. There are a great many exotic print fabrics available in the marketplace, but watching batik coloring of fabric is fun. My friend and guide found a like minded young woman who explained to me how the work was carried out. I was by this time pretty sweaty from a day of hiking in the tropical heat, but my host wanted my guide to take a picture of us together. I printed a copy off on my portable printer, and then took pictures of her and them together. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make clothes on this visit, but naturally I did buy some sample fabrics for my wife to sew.

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    Ashanti Cultural Arts Center: Kente Cloth

    by atufft Updated Mar 22, 2007

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    Kente cloth weaving
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    Some of the best shopping is done at this park like atmosphere of artisans at work. Ashante Kente cloth is a very tightly woven double sided technique that turns out a relatively narrow, but unlimited length fabric. Kente cloth is used for sashes of various types. Kente cloth strips are sewn together to provide wider cloth.

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    Ashanti Cultural Arts Center: Bronze Casting

    by atufft Updated Mar 25, 2007

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    Lost Wax Casting--carving the wax pieces
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    The Ashanti were skilled at both iron and bronze work for centuries before the arrival of the Europeans. Very large bronze work startled the first Europeans, both for the skill and artistic quality. At the Ashanti Cultural Arts Center, there is a bronze master who demonstrates the lost wax method of casting. First, the molds are made. Wax pieces are themselves molded, and clay "straws" attached, and then second, a combination of ash and clay are molded around the wax. Third, the clay molds are fired to make them durable, and the wax drains out in the firing process, leaving a void for the molten bronze. The bronze master gathers scrap bronze from auto parts, plumbing fixtures, etc. and puts them into a vessel that won't melt. He uses a small fire of charcoal and to bring the heat of the fire to melt the bronze to 2020F, he would traditionally use bellows to fan the flame. Now, he uses an old leave blower. Then the bronze has cooled, the mold is broken, and the bronze pieces cleaned with citrus juice. Our Ashanti bronze master reported that he had visited the United States at the invitation of a middle school teacher.

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    Churches in Kumasi

    by atufft Updated Jun 5, 2006

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    Methodist Church in Kumasi
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    The string of first missionaries to Ghana quickly died of malaria, but eventually, Ghana became a great success story for the Protestant and Catholic denominations that sent missionaries there. The leading churches in Ghana are the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Anglican Churches, but the Catholic Church, and more recently, the Baptist and Pentacostal Churches have considerable representation. About a third of Ghana is Muslim, but everyone is generally very harmonious about religion, and all over Ghana, traditional tribal spirtualism remains an important part of life. The strength of Christian belief in Ghana is very high as images of Christ and Christian slogans are proudly painted onto vehicles and in homes. Thus, Ghana represents the front line of Christian and Muslim missionary activity, as the Christians moved north from the Gold Coast Slave Fortresses and the Muslim armies and slave traders moved south from the Sahara. At the present time, the Christians seem to be having greater success because the many non-government aid organizations are from the various churches, such as the educational unit of the Presbyterian Church shown here. Thus, while Christian efforts have been a miserable failure in the Arab Middle East, the Muslims have neglected the needs of Africans south of the Sahara, many of whom are converting to Christianity as a way for salvation in this world--food, medical care, and education. Most Churches provide multi-lingual services. In Kumasi, that would typically mean one service in English and another in Akan.

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    Ashanti Cultural Arts Center: Cane Furniture

    by atufft Updated Mar 22, 2007

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    Cane furniture Craftsman
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    The Ashanti Cultural Arts Center also has some furniture makers, some who use plank boards carved in ornate ways, and others who make cane furniture. We were lucky enough to have a friend include some of the cane furniture in a container that she shipped to California, allowing us to avoid the complications of shipping the furniture ourselves. But, we didn't buy our furniture here.

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    Kumasi Open Market is for people watching

    by atufft Written Oct 5, 2005

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    Christian Fabric Vendors
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    Browse the meat market, currency exchange booth area, tools, toys or row after row of fabrics and clothes--This is the open Market in Kumasi. Central located in a large and spread out city, at least a morning can be spent here people watching or selecting cotton print and batik fabrics. I took advantage of the photogenic vendors...

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    Ashante Soccer in Kumasi

    by atufft Written Feb 17, 2006

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    Kumasi 80,000 seat Stadium
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    Soccer, otherwise known as football in the world, is naturally very popular in Ghana and the Ghanians are very good at it. I paid modest ticket prices for myself and my friend to watch Ghana beat soundly a visiting Morrocco club. The players in Ghana can run fast and scrap well for the ball. The Morroccan's tried a finesse passing game, but it didn't work. The Ghana club was too hard hitting. The stadium design isn't the greatest as a iron fence separates the fans from the field at the lower levels, but this is the largest stadium in the nation and in a city that is fanatical about the sport. Although saches of water pelted the field, I didn't see any of the unruly barbarism behavior frequently seen at the uncivilized European soccer matches.

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    Ashanti Traditional Museum

    by grets Written Jan 13, 2007

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    Ashanti Traditional Museum

    The Ashanti Traditional Museum is housed within the Cultural Centre in Kumasi. Unfortunately, no photography is permitted inside.

    The museum houses traditional artifacts and possessions from the Ashanti Royal family amongst other things. I found the following items of interest:

    Stools and chairs captured by the British which were brought back by Queen Elizabeth on her visit to Ghana in 1965

    Weights used to measure gold dust. Gold dust was used as a currency for some time in Ghana.

    Replica of the king’s bathroom.

    The king should not place his feet on the floor as this would annul his position, so a foot rest of ivory is placed in front of his seat.

    Sculptures, palanquins, staff, stools and swords, including the replica golden stool (which the Ashanti fobbed the English off with as the real thing when they ransacked the palace) which was brought back in 1969 – with the gold covering removed!

    Umbrella tops. The king would always have a servant carrying an umbrella over his head and the tops of these umbrellas are very symbolic: a duck means that you shuold look backwards; a horn signifies power and a hand illustrates how you cannot tie a knot without a thumb!

    A replica of the king’s kitchen. Women were not allowed to cook for the king because jealousy may entice them to poison him, as well as the belief that menstruating women are dirty. The chief cook would always taste the king’s food first, to ensure it was not poisoned.

    A leopard skin drum which when rubbed with a stick over the skin, sounds just like the roar of a leopard. This was used to scare off enemies, making them believe that there really was a dangerous animal around.

    The king’s sandals, with the wooden ones used on rainy days and the gold for ceremonies.

    Kente cloth, old clothes, spittoons and many other items. It is worth having a guide to explain it all to you.

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    Kumasi Military Housing

    by atufft Updated Mar 22, 2007

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    Colonial Era Military Barracks
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    Close to the city center on a hill that dominates the city, there is a complex of run down colonial era brick and clapboard buildings, which were originally the location of the Ashanti king's fortifications, later British military housing, and today Ghana military housing. The soldiers aren't paid very much, so families keep goats.

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    Kejetia Market

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    Kejetia Market
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    The most famous place in Kumasi is its central market, also known as Kejetia Market. It is said to be the biggest market in Africa, and it indeed is huge. It covers a total area of 10 hectares and there are about 10.000 people who work there every day.

    A walk over Kejetia Market really is an adventure. Everywhere you hear people shouting, you smell their goods, you see all the colours of the rainbow, and all the time you just have to go with the flow, because thousands of people are walking the same way as you do. You hardly have to to stand still and have a look.

    Kejetia Market surprisingly actually has a structure. In one lane you see all the vegetables you can think of, in another lane (several hundreds of metres long) you only find plastic goods, and along the railway that crosses the market in the middle, you see nothing but second hand clothes.

    The market really is a must see when you are visiting Ghana. THIS is African culture, this is where you see the real Ghanaians and the real Ghanaian goods. From the sides of the area, you have a great view over the little stalls and their rusty iron roofs. From here too, it is almost the only possibility to take a picture of the spectacle, because nobody allows you to do so inside the market.

    There is no way you can plan a walk over the market. You cross it and see where you end up. It is situated in a valley, so whenever you leave the market you have a good view over the city and you can find your way back easily.

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    National Cultural Centre

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    Traditional dances in Kumasi
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    The National Cultural Centre in Kumasi is completely different from the one in Accra. While the one in the capital is a crowded labyrinth full of pushy salesmen, the Kumasi one really is about the culture of Ghana and especially the Ashanti's.

    The Centre covers a large area close to the Kumasi Zoo. the terrain is nicely situated on top of a hill, full of palm- and banana trees, green lawns and other colourfull plants. Inside the walls you find a museum about the Ashanti history, a national library, a restaurant and some stalls where traditional souvenirs can be bought.

    Right in the middle there also is a theatre where you can see traditional dances and music. When I was there, the theatre was closed, but inside they were practising. Through some narrow openings in the walls surrounding the theatre, I still could see some of their skills.

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    Meet the king

    by grets Written Jan 13, 2007

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    King Nana Okyere-Antwi I and us

    One of the highlights of my visit to Ghana was meeting Nana Okyere-Antwi I, the Ashanti King. Our trusted guide, Noah, had managed to secure us an audience with the king, through a local contact. We shook hands are he explained about the Ashanti kingdom and its culture before allowing us time to ask questions and take photographs. You may not address the king directly; you talk to him through his assistant who would in turn present the question to the king. In fact, we would ask Noah the question, he would relay that to the local guide/interpreter who again would pose the question to the king’s assistant. It was a surreal and extraordinary experience and one which I will never forget.

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    Ashanti Besease Shrine

    by grets Written Jan 13, 2007

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    The ancestral shrine house at Besease was built around 1850 and is one of ten remaining examples of traditional Ashanti architecture. Most were destroyed by the British. The shrine is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

    More information about the shrine house traditions can be found under the Local Customs heading

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    Kumasi Fort

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    Kumasi Fort

    In the centre of Kumasi you will find what is probably the oldest building in the city: Kumasi Fort. This building was built after the British finally defeated the Ashanti during the war in the end of the 19th century. The British burned the complete city to the ground and started the rebuilding with a solid fort that still exists.

    The building is easy to recognise between the modern buildings around it. The walls are painted in a deep, red colour and all around it you see militairy vehicles. That is because today it is used as the War Museum of the city. All kinds of objects of the Ghanaian Army, the Second World war and of course the British-Ashanti War.

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    Trading streets

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 12, 2007

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    Coffins at the roadside in Kumasi
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    A fascinating thing to see in central Kumasi are the many streets that are completely full of large and small market stalls in open air. Everything is origanised according to product-type, and everything is huge!

    Two of the streets are the mainstreets in- and out the city. The road heading north is full of everything you can ever think of for cars. Headlights, wheels and tyres, window wipers but also complete engines are for sale at the side of the road. It is said that you shouldn't leave your car here unattended in the area, otherwise you'll find it back in piece in several of the many stalls.

    The road heading south coming from the centre, is full of all wooden products. Window- and doorframes, tables, chairs, but even custom made coffins that are made at the side of the roads are for sale everywhere.

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Kumasi Things to Do

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