With the help of friends, I made sure to visit some local markets. My favorite one though was Makola market. The market itself is a testament of the capitol city. It allowed me to discover the beautiful artistry and craftsmanship in the products on sale, and learn about the area’s culture and traditions. Like many other African markets, anything and everything was available at Makola.
Makola Market was constructed in Accra in 1924 and stood at the heart of the urban Ghanaian life. The market was the main wholesale and retail marketplace in Accra, the epicenter of trade in the country and one of the nation’s most important social and cultural institutions.
On the 18th of August 1979, 55 years after its creation, Makola Market was destroyed. The Rawlings’s government that agreed on the demolition of the centre of trade in Ghana thought that devastating Makola would improve the economy. Indeed, there were accusations that various products considered banned in Ghana were being sold in the Makola Market. In this way, the market women were accused for Ghana’s economic problems.
Makola Market is currently under the observation of Transaid which is developing a project Transport and Trade for Market Women which is designed to improve the livelihoods and security of female market traders through the development of Women’s Transports Co-operatives in Accra.
Makola is place of enjoyment. If you follow our snap, you saw I posted literally one snap, even though I spent about 2hrs there. I would not recommend bringing a camera. Bring cash, comfortable shoes & your bargaining skills only. Also, the same advice I share with everyone: ask permission before taking photos. This goes beyond taking photos of people. Even something minor as taking a photo of fruits in someone’s shop, ASK!
The market is very large but also very crowded. Even though it’s outside in an open area, If huge crowds or tight spaces are not your thing, I would not recommend it.
Shoes rinsed off and dried in the sun. Customers would point at the ones they wanted and a man with a long stick would hook the pair and swing them over to the customer.
4-5: Traditional glass beads of Ghana are often referred to as Krobo beads, the Krobo mountains being the main area of production. These beads are made from recycled glass. Bottles and other glass items are first washed and sorted by colours. They are then broken into small fragments for making translucent beads, or pounded with a metal mortar and pestle, and sieved to get a very fine powder for making powder glass beads. Glass powder of different colours is obtained using ceramic dyes.
The kente cloth is woven on a narrow horizontal wood structure called a loom. A heddle is an integral part of a loom. Each thread in the warp passes through a heddle, which is used to separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft. The typical heddle is made of cord or wire, and is suspended on a shaft of a loom. Each heddle has an eye in the center where the warp is threaded through. As there is one heddle for each thread of the warp, there can be near a thousand heddles used for fine or wide warps. A handwoven tea-towel will generally have between 300 and 400 warp threads, and thus use that many heddles.
Small break before I start posting more production photos on Shipwrecked! I experimented with some animation based on the character Mr. Nancy from American gods, and made a few .gif loops! Theres a bit of a mix of Ashanti art and Caribbean art, and of course motifs of Anansi the trickster ;)