SALALAH, AUGUST 9 – Salalah Tourism Festival presents us different shades of art and culture on one platform, while satisfying the different needs of people where dance and music to food and clothing and handicrafts from various parts of the world are displayed. For art and craft lovers the stalls from some of the African countries are worth visiting.
There are exhibits from Ghana and Nigeria.
Most of them are handmade. The skills and distinctiveness shine more than anything else and ebony and mahogany wood speak for themselves as you enter the world of art and crafts from Ghana and Nigeria. Wandering in the great spread of stalls there are two stalls where a connoisseur would not just slow down but also have the delight of getting mesmerised.
The Ghanaian stall owner Mawuli Akpenyo is the Managing Director of Delata Ghana Ltd. He has brought with him the weaved baskets and products made out of wood carvings, fabric weaving, recycled glass beads and jewellery, metal casting and metal crafts, musical instruments, leather craft, earthenware pottery, garments, clothing and accessories, paintings and assorted art works.
Ghana, according to him, is one of the countries in the world with rich and diversified but united traditional culture which are expressed in the way we dress, what we eat, our dialects, the way we relate and our arts and crafts.
“In line with the diverse vegetation and the people living the various parts Ghana has a wide variety of arts and crafts,” he says.
Commenting on development of handmade crafts in Ghana, Akpenyo said: “Ghana, by virtue of its stable political climate, peaceful environment and traditional hospitality attract tourists year after year. Due to the appreciation of the Ghana craft by tourist and their construction recommendations in terms of finishing, sizes and colour, the production and patronage of the craft expanded.”
“In the early 1990s, the government of Ghana identified the potential of handmade craft as economic venture for job creation and wealth making and therefore organised production and skill training for the various craft sectors,” he said.
Adeyemi Alao John from Nigeria has put up many textile and woodcraft products at his stall. Nigeria, according him, is renowned for crafts for hundreds of years. “The handicrafts here are considered across the globe as the most original and uniquely handmade. Many countries are interested in patronising the works of Nigerian craftsmen because Nigerian craft convey designs which are distinctively Nigerian, reflecting our culture,” he said.