It is hard to imagine that any girl child that grew up in West Africa in the 70’s and 80’s does not recognise these dolls. I found them fascinating then and even more so now. Made purely out of plastic, the dolls though detailed with facial expressions, hair, clothing and so on were made in one single piece. This of course means that no part of the doll moved; not the hair, not the arms nor the legs!
I think it required an even greater sense of imagination to play with these dolls. No clothes to change, no hair to brush…. Nevertheless, they were extremely popular to my recollection and I was thrilled to come across the instagram feed for the Clonette Dolls.
The Iconic Clonette ‘’Baby & Auntie DeiDei Dolls originated in Ghana during the colonial era and were the first industrially produced doll in Africa. Inspired by traditional woven dolls usually made from wood, grass and fabric these bright dolls are still being made in Ghana today from recycled plastic. They come in a range of sizes and colours. There are even some limited edition stripey ones and some decorative porcelain ones! Visit their online store www.clonettedolls.com or their etsy store www.ClonetteDolls.etsy.com
I am absolutely going to get one…. or two. Love them!
WHERE : Accra
WHEN: November, 2010
“What I hear, I keep “
Adinkra are the distinct and instantly recognisable motifs and symbols used in Ghanaian culture particularly by the Akan people. They are commonly seen in fabric but also used on pottery, furniture, in architecture and so on. Though extremely beautiful and decorative, each symbol represents various messages, proverbs and concepts.
A brief history
Adinkra cotton cloth was originally produced by the Gyaaman clans of the Brong region and was worn only by royalty and spiritual leaders and used for important ceremonies such as funerals and weddings. Traditionally, adinkra aduru a special ink was used in the printing process. Apparently this is produced by boiling, soaking and beating the bark from the Badie tree. The symbols where then applied to handwoven fabric using stamps. The creation of this type of cloth is believed to have begun as far back as the 17th century. Beautiful!
The site’s mission is to make available high-quality renditions of these African symbols at no cost for personal and non-profit uses. The site was designed to be user-friendly in Africa and anywhere else where slow and erratic internet connections can be a problem.
Please show them some love! There is a wealth of knowledge there.
I am completely and utterly in love with the history, ideas and stories embodied in these symbols. They are a simple and bold representation of history and sometimes complex concepts steeped in the tradition. The bold graphic nature of the motifs also appeal to me. Below are some of my favourites (I lie…I love them all).
Wishing all our Ghanaian friends and fans a Happy Independence Day!
It so happens that one of our favourite customers has just received her custom order of a Kente Supersnap Clutch. Kente is a gorgeous handwoven cloth from Ghana, similar to Aso-oke. We will definitely be experimenting with more very soon.
Thanks Ivy for a very interesting project.
Back by popular demand, the Golden Showers Super Snap clutch. Only two left in stock! This is one of our all time favourite Super Snap clutches due to the uniqueness of the wax print which came all the way from Ghana. It is bedazzled with golden sprinkles hence the name of this gorgeous clutch!
Great for an evening out or the perfect way to add flare to a simple look, be it jeans or an summer dress.