Ghana

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Ghana is located in Western Africa. The temperature is tropical and the population is very diverse. There is a great emphasis on handcrafted items with many symbols accenting the designs. Our first project is an Ashanti stool made from craft sticks. The Ashanti stool is a symbol of power and status - every chief has one. The (gye nyame) symbol is an extremely well known and popular image in Ghana symbolizing the power of god to make all things equal. The Ashanti belief is that the stool holds the soul. Then, its time for creating your own wooden jewelry with African symbols. African trade beads really originated in Venice and were used to trade for things such as ivory and palm oil. These beads still exist in Ghana and are prized as a big part of African jewelry. Next learn a little about weaving with a jute basket. Today Ghana is known for its rich culture and diverse landscapes, including the savannah grasslands where the weavers get the materials for these baskets. The heavy elephant grass used in these baskets is tightly woven making each basket strong yet flexible. We have fun creating a foam version of a mancala game for our last project. Mancala is the generic name for a group of games from ancient Africa, still popular today. We're making a lightweight version of this game which was traditionally carved from wood.

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