BEADS SHOW AT NGMAYEM FESTIVAL
If you love beads and don’t mind getting caught up in a week filled with an exhibition and trade show, seminars and work- shops for beads sellers and producers, fashion shows with assorted beads accessories, beads design competition and bead- making lessons, then the place to head for between October 22 and October 29 is the 2nd International Bead Festival at Odumase Krobo in the Eastern Region.
Beads production in the three Krobo Districts of Yilo, Upper and Lower Manya is not only an integral part of the culture there but also an important economic activity that has generated income for many families.
The first International Bead Festival came off last year as a response to requests from a variety of stakeholders in the beads industry. This year’s festival is being held as an integral part of the annual Ngmayem festival of the chiefs and people of Manya Krobo. An impressive joint launch of both festivals took place last Friday at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra.
The Ngmayem festival is the annual celebration of the new harvest of ‘Ngma’ (millet) by the chiefs and people of Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region. The main aim of the festival is to unite the people and provide the youth an opportunity to learn about their culture.
James Otieku, Chairman of the Upper Manya Rural Bank and Senior Lecturer at the School of Business, University of Ghana in a welcome address, said it was important to attach some major economic activity of the Krobo people to the Ngmayem festival and that was why for the first time, Ngmayem was going to be marked together with the beads festival.
Nene Dome Siako, Chairman of the Beads Festival Planning Committee also stated that though foreign beads and the locally- produced ones compete for patronage at the various bead markets and shops, Krobo beads are still loved by many in Ghana and elsewhere for their supreme quality and beauty.
Nene Sasraku IV, Chairman of the Ngmayem Festival Planning Committee pointed out that just as smock making and kente weaving are associated with certain people and areas in this country, Krobos are also noted for excellent quality beads. He invited all to come over and sample the beauty of beads at the dual festival.
Beads making has existed in the Krobo area for centuries and the ornaments are significant in the people’s various rites of passage. From birth through puberty as well as marriage to funeral rites, beads are necessary items.
Organisers of the beads festival say they want to use the event to propel the beads industry of the Krobos into an internationally- accepted expo and a door to tourism. The idea is to reinforce Manya Krobo’s position as the global destination of choice in all things pertaining to the production, marketing and utilizing of beads.
While in the Manya Krobo area during the beads and Ngmayem festivals, visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Krobo Mountain, Botiwaterfalls, Akosombo Dam and cruise on the Volta Lake to Dodi Island.
Daily Graphic Page: 6 Thursday, July 28-August 3, 2011