Paintings and Baskets of Sirigu, Ghana

Sirigu, in northern Ghana, is famous for its baskets and for the family house compounds of organically shaped adobe buildings with boldly painted abstract patterns. Adobe requires a lot of maintenance, though, so most new building are constructed with concrete block and metal roofs.
Buildings may take any shapes and the roofs are usually made of adobe or thatch that rest on wooden supports. Closely spaced wooden beams and branches support an adobe roof. Holes made in the adobe roof are covered with overturned clay bowls to keep out the rain. Cracks in the adobe wall are filled with damp clay.

Figurative painting can be seen on some adobe walls Asokipala lives with her family in this compound, a mixture of traditional and new architecture. In addition to the walls, she also paints Sirigu-inspired images with acrylic on canvas. Her cell phone number is 054247025.

 An unfired ceramic vessel is burnished before painting the surface with mineral pigments.

Rocks rich in pigment are pulverized, then mixed with water to paint walls and pots.

Akanvolle demonstrates how to make a traditional Sirigu basket. She wets the base to make it flexible, then presses a dull knife at the edge of the base to fold up the sides. She may be contacted through her grandson, Ferrel (cell number 233 0272553541).

Akanvolle encouraged me weave a little, too. the colors of the weavers are the same colors used in painting.

Other weavers use a ceramic pot to help shape large baskets.

This basket weaver is perfecting her craft at SWOPA.

Thanks to Sirigu Women Organization of Pottery and Art in Northern Ghana (SWOPA), traditional basketry and painting continues, transforming with the times.

These baskets, made from local grasses brightly colored in hot aniline dyes, are made for export.

Adinkra Printing in Ntonso, Ghana    
Ashanti Kente Weaving in Bonwire, Ghana
Ashanti Kente Weaving in Adawomase, Ghana
Ewe Kente Cloth Weaving in Denu, Ghana
Glass Bead Making in Odumase Krobo, Ghana
Ashanti Glass Bead Making in Daabaa, Ghana 
Lost Wax Casting in Krofofrom, Ghana
Ga Coffins in Teshie, Ghana 
THREAD, Inc. Organization

Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura in 2009. Please look at Carol's home page to see more about crafts around the world.