Benchibi and Kente are traditional woven fabrics ingeniously crafted with two different design concepts. Benchibi is produced by the people of Daboya in the Northern part of Ghana whilst Kente is a product mainly of the middle and southern part of Ghana with Bonwire as its traditional centre in the middle part of the country. The study aimed at analysing the socio-cultural significance of the two traditions. The study fulcrums on the qualitative research and employed observation and interview. The study analysed the socio-cultural characteristics of the two fabrics traditions, using descriptive method of analysing data. The purposive sampling technique was employed to select eight people, two (2) weavers and two (2) opinion leaders from each of the study area. The research revealed that both woven traditions are embedded with socio-cultural significance that embodies various characteristics such as values, morals, history and philosophies of the areas noted for the production and use of the fabrics. The study revealed that Benchibi and Kente have different beautiful crafted style in terms of weave, designs and materials used, which play very significant roles in the socio-cultural behaviour of the two traditions. The study concluded that both weaving cultures play very distinguished social and cultural roles in the lives of the people of the respective areas. It is therefore recommended that the physical features, aesthetic and artistic components of these weaving traditions need rigorous documentation to help in recording the social and cultural life of the people through fabric weaving.
Keywords: Aesthetics, Benchibi, Kente, Socio-cultural, Traditions
Cross Cultural Weaves Potential for Ghanaian Cultural Identity (Published)
The study focus on Asante’s indigenous “Kente” weavers at Bonwire, Centre for National Culture, Kumasi, and weavers from the Northern and Volta regions are mainly because of the fact that they are the regions in Ghana that are known for creating the cloth. This concept provides an opportunity to help unite indigenous textile weaving industries in the Northern, Ashanti and Volta regions in Ghana. The study reviews existing work on traditional weaving practices leading to the production of ‘fugu’, ‘kente’ and ‘kete’ in the Northern, Ashanti and Volta regions respectively so as to be able to build a conceptual framework that is appropriate. The extent of this exploration is entirely a push to think about the utilisation of weaving techniques from the three regions to enhance their cultural identity. This covered the weaving centres in the whole of the chosen regions, but due to time constraints, only few centres were chosen. The approach of the study was qualitative research methods and the instrument used to collect data were mainly interviewed (one-to-one) and participant observation with players in the traditional weaving industry and then some secondary data. The respondents in this study were the indigenous weavers in the three regions selected for this study and the views of selected customers and users of the cloths from the various regions. Furthermore, in order to justify the study, questionnaires were administered to a few experts as there is no need denying the fact that this category of respondents has adequate knowledge of the materials they produce and/or patronise. It emerged from this study that the traditional weaves produced in the three regions of Ghana under study, have the capability of uniting these three regions based on the concept the study adopted.
Keywords: Cross Cultural Weaves, Fugu, Kente, Kete And Local Weaving Industry