I was very impressed by the ingenuity, resourcefulness and creative flair of these children – with no toy shops around, if they want something to play with, they have to make it themselves. Look at this car – isn’t it magnificent? You can see why they are so proud of it!
There is no well in the village, so water has to be brought in containers from the well which is over a mile away. Washing is carried out in the traditional way, there are no washing machines or Laundromats here, just bad backs and chafed hands. Drying is done by draping the wet clothes over whatever you can find – fences, walls, trees, bushes or even the ground. In this heat, it doesn’t take long to dry. In this dust it doesn’t take long to get dirty again.
Protocol states that you must always greet the village chief and ask permission to enter the village before you go in. This is very important to follow, as we found out in one of the villages we entered (without gaining permission from the chief) and were chased away by a young man with a gun! Usually this permission is granted, although I am sure that in our case, a little money changed hands. I think this is only fair, as we came as a group and gained enjoyment from learning about their culture and we were obviously disruptive to their daily life.
Most of the local villagers we saw, had facial adornment in the form of scarification. This is way of distinguishing one ethnic group from another. Not only do they make a mark to show the ethnic group, also the village they are from, as well as the actual family. This procedure is usually carried out when the children are quite young, as you can see from some of the photographs. The women as well as the men have these marks. The families are very traditional and will bring their children back to the village – even if living abroad – for this initiation ceremony.
This is a common sight in every village all over Ghana (and the rest of West Africa). Yam is pounded in these tall, wooden, hollow containers with a long, wooden mallet for about half an hour to make fufu, the main staple of the area. Fufu is similar to a dumpling, and is usually served with meat and/or vegetables in a sauce.