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Ahwiaa   (published in Ghana)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Another village close to Kumasi is Ahwiaa, famous for its wood carvings. It is a quick 30 minute tro tro ride from Kejetia. It’s the place to go if you want to buy quality and cheap wood carvings.

              Once again, I had no idea where I was going so I asked the ‘mate’ of the tro tro to drop me off right by the signpost of Ahwiaa. As I walked past there were tens of carpenters working on tables, stools and other bits of furniture. As I went past I came onto what the tourists usually come for, the wooden carvings stores. Both sides of the road were packed with these stores selling masks, unity globes, animal carvings and other massive carvings that apparently signified something!

              I had been warned beforehand that I would be mobbed by the sellers as the locals know the tourists go there to buy. I actually found the place rather pleasant, and the people weren’t too pushy and allowed me to look around freely. Maybe it’s partly because I’ve been here for so long that I’m getting used to being mobbed all the time! I did feel that the sellers made an effort not to be too pushy and took their time to explain the process of wood carving.

              They told me the cheapest kind of wood they used to carve was the red sillar. It then ranged from while sillar, mahogany, thick wood to ebony. It became quite easy to see the difference as I went through the shops. The quality of the wood was obvious and the easiest way was to feel the weight of the carving. The heavier ones are expensive and the hard surface makes it hard to carve.

              I went to Ahwiaa without having in mind what to buy. In fact I had not planned to buy anything! However as I looked through all the carvings, I suddenly knew what I wanted – an ebony elephant carving with its trunk up. I went on a mission to find one and finally did! I also managed to bring the price down to 30 cedis, confirming that Ahwiaa is one of the best places to buy wood carvings.


By Minato Kobori


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