Thursday, June 30, 2005

Adinkra Stamps


Adinkra stamps

I love African textiles and I have long had a fascination for adinkra cloth. The stamps in the photograph are actual Ghanaian adinkra stamps carved from gourds which I purchased at the African Museum near Maastricht. I am looking forward to working with them, but alas the weather is not being too co-operative ( I uaually dye and print outside)- it is doing it's wintry best to be cold and miserable. The symbology of stamps ( which are used to tell stories and allegories) are from left to right- Fofoo- what the foofoo plant wants, is that the gyinantwi seed will turn back- the symbol for jealousy ( what a cool form for jealousy- I think of it more as sunshine), Kunitkantan- don't show off-There is a need for humility and dignity,funtunfunafu denkyem funafu,won afuru bom nso worididi a na wo ko- whilst sharing the same stomach they fight for the food- dwanimen, horn of the ram, symbol for keeping things hidden.

And whilst thinking about the African museum I should mention that my friend Heidi-Stegehuis Ihle has had her African Elephant quilt invited into the Hands All Round Exhibit in Houston later this year. People say I am very productive but Heidi's output is truly prodigious. I enjoyed seeing all her work in the flesh this time in Europe, and I am just awed by the amount of work she gets through and her imagination. Posted by Hello

5 comments:

Nicky said...

Those stamps are amazing - I can't believe they are made from gourds - they look like they are metal. Can't wait to see what you are going to create with those.

Karoda said...

I have a rubber stamp kit of about 15 adinkra symbols and a quilt pattern I purchased a gazillion years ago with about 20 appliqued symbols. I wish someone would catalog a complete interpretation of all known symbols. But those you acquired are just wonderful being made of gourd.

Elle said...

I LOVE them! You can go to the Embassy of Ghana's website for a really great adinkra symbol chart explaining them. Lots of symbols on it.

Alison Schwabe said...

In Uruguay and some other latin countries where the drinking of the herbal tea mate is prevalant, dried out gourds are used as we use favourite coffee mugs, and the tea sipped up through a metal pipe like a straw with a seive on the end to keep the leaves in the gourd. Love the patterns on the stamps, a reminder to get going on my own personal symbols and the primal ones... feel some printing coming on myself....

Emmy said...

Hi
I am a second grade teacher and I am wondering if you have any creative ideas on how I should teach my students all about adinkra printing.