Finding Folk Art

I went on an excursion today with Dr. Femke Veldman, Elisabeth Faile, and two nurses. We headed to Nakpanduri to meet two local healers (herbalists, witch doctors, what ever you want to call them) and find out about their medicines and techniques. I’ll write more on that later.

This post is about the amazing art I saw at one of the healers’ home. We had been visiting with a woman healer and she asked us to greet her father (who taught her everything about the trade). She asked me to go in the room to take his picture. Thank goodness I brought my flash because there was no window and no light – it was almost pitch black. Read More

Visiting the Nayiri

The Nayiri is the paramount chief of the Mamprusi tribe. Since Nalerigu is the capitol of Mamprugu (the Mamprusi kingdom) and at its center is the chief’s palace. This afternoon a large delegation of IMB missionaries (former and current), visited the Nayiri in his palace to greet him.

I visited him last year with Dr. Faile and took his photo. Earlier this year I sent a print to him via Dr. Faile. This year we went inside his council room and I was thrilled to see that on the wall above him was the photo I snapped last year! I had the print lustre coated and put in a plastic sleeve so it should hold up over time. It would be great to return years later and still see it propped up there.

**UPDATE March 2016** Almost eight years later, my photo is gone from this throne room. But my digital image below of him holding the blue rag has been ripped from this website and is regularly used on banners around northern Ghana to depict the Overlord of Mamprugu.

Trokosi Slavery

Baptist Vocational Training Centre in Frankadua, GhanaThis week I visited the Baptist Vocational Training Center which helps to rehabilitate ex-Trokosi slaves and re-integrate them into society. Before I tell you about what the Center is doing for the girls and some of their stories I wanted to explain what Trokosi is and why it is practiced. As Westerners it is very difficult for us to understand the grip that superstition and fear have on West Africans who practice African traditional religions (known as ATR, animism, voodoo, etc…). It is this fear that drives such horrendous practices as Trokosi slavery.

What is Trokosi? Read More