#KwahuEaster2022: Sustainable job creation for Kwahu youth—a focus on our natural resource; Sand Gilt ‘Earthenware’

Festival tourism

There are three broad groups of pottery – Earthenware, Stoneware, and Porcelain.

Earthenware is pottery (i.e. made from clay) that has not been fired to the point of vitrification and so is slightly porous after the first firing.

It is made waterproof by the application of slip (a liquid clay mixture applied before firing) before the second firing or the application of tin or clear glaze. For both practical and decorative reasons, earthenware is usually glazed.

Earthenware has grown to become a cultural tourism product for the Ghanaian economy and in many instances has single-handed created a cultural niche for artifact operators. Kwahu carries a status of a special region (often referred to as the mountain region) in Ghana. In addition to this, the city carries a number of various attributes that Ghanaians use to refer to it: sometimes it is called “the city of culture”, “the city for paragliding,” “nature’s very own,” and “the city of arts.” During the revolutionary period, Kwahu once became the center of governance and the center of the struggle for local indigenes.

Kwahu also attracts young people from other parts of Ghana who come to have a look at a variety of skills, trade and study the arts of pottery. This is why it is also known as “the pottery town.”

Currently, Mpraseso, Oframoase, Jejeti, Amanfrom and “Besease” in the Kwahu South and West Districts respectively of the Eastern Region in Ghana can be considered to be one of the major art-oriented tourist destinations in Kwahu, due to its nature, unique ancient culture and art activities. Such a popular tourist destination has a high demand for cultural souvenirs. One can say that tourism in Kwahu is closely connected to the local traditional craft arts.

One major impact of tourism here is that it led to the commoditization of the surrounding nature, of the ancient cultural sites, of the performing arts, including the commoditization of a variety of craft art centers that existed before the tourist “invasion.” The creative process and the products of local artisans are unique. Both domestic and foreign tourists can observe the creative processes of these artisans. They can even purchase these creations as a souvenir to take back home.

In addition, travelers also receive satisfying and memorable care. The impression of the tourists is further strengthened by the surrounding beauty of nature and of the well-designed setting, the uniqueness of the creative process, and the unique products of local craftspeople, as well as by the hospitality of the communities who are directly involved in sustaining the craft.

The site became an important tourist destination and is frequented by tourists. The tourists have an opportunity to witness authentic creative works in the numerous ceramic craft art centers that were established in the area. Craft art became a commodity product, a material for sale to consumers locally, nationally, and internationally.

Considering the yearly increase in demand for earthenware locally and globally I believe this art can create meaningful jobs for our youth who travel to seek greener pastures and unexisting jobs in our major city centers.

>>>The writer is the Membership Director of the Kwahu Professionals Network (KPN) and a native of Kwahu Aduamoa and Twenedurase. He is currently the COO of Yopoo Clean Co. Ltd, a manufacturer of cleaning detergents. Email him at [email protected]


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