Friday, November 21, 2008

The Ghost Carvers in the City of Accra

Fancy furniture, stone sculpture, frilly flower pots, crosswise-woven, kente cloth and fermenting flowers line up on the rough shoulders of the streets to the suburbs of the City of Accra, as Accraian artisans make a living on their skilful(?) creations (hopefully they all go to bed at night, and do not do dark deeds at night to up their ‘income’). The weavers on the loom, wicker workers, furniture makers and dilettante florists are up at daybreak creating art, beauty and business. And the carvings! Odum giraffes, Mahogany gazelles and Sapele rhinos range and illustrate the busy streets. What you will never see is a work in progress. You’ll see them polishing but never creating, carving; but they swear they did it themselves.


  1. Hi Nana Yaw,

    Good one there!

    Like the elves, which helped to knit the shoes in the night after the shoemaker and his wife had gone to bed,there is always a master craftsman, usually, hidden away who carves the wood.
    After the carving, others take them away for the polishing, etc.

    What will life be without such craftmanship in the city of Accra?

  2. The difference here being that the sellers (who can barely wield a chisel) pretend to be the carvers too. Hardly good elfmanship, no?

  3. interesting...

    makes one wonder...i would look more closely now...cos i love to always buy mine from original makers...

    i enjoy a nice time last time on the Aburi hills...interacting with 'real' craftsmen...


  4. Yeah, Novis, those carvers on the Aburi hill are just 'wicked'. It's just a bit strange that they appear to create more elephants than all the other animals put together.


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