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Lesson Plans


Re: Adinkra

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
MaloneyMK (MaloneyMK)
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 14:20:24 EDT


Hello Everybody,

> "According to Jo Schuman in "Art from Many Hands", Adinkra cloth is printed
> with symbols using brown paint (which was originally made from rusted
> iron). The cloth is worn to funerals as a way of saying good bye.
>
> Somehow printing in colorful paints to make place mats doesn't make it for
> me or multiculturalism."

There's more to Adinkra than that. The symbols were a way of communicating
when education was outlawed by the colonials. They were also used for
decoration... not only for funerals. Just as black slaves in the US were
forbidden to speak... the colonials didn't want the West Africans to speak to
one another (common method among oppressors) .

It seems to me that it's pretty neat when people take the time and effort to
describe their use of these traditions. The world is teeming with borrowing
and lending. We can't recreate the vast majority of what it means, how it
looks, how it feels to be from the Ghana that originated these symbols. So
what. Neither can we convey what it meant to be Raphael painting an immortal
altarpiece at the age of 17... to kids whose attention is minutely divided
among the 57 varieties of liberal arts concerns in education in our century.

Kathy