Development of innovative motifs from existing adinkra symbols for ’ahenema’ footwear

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August, 2015
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The Akan communities in Ghana are identified with ‘ahenema; footwear. Originally, ‘ahenema’ was designed for the royals and decorated with symbols made from gold and that made the slipper an expensive one. Nowadays, the producers cut the motif from rubber to decorate on ‘ahenema’ and this makes it affordable. Every Ghanaian or a foreigner can buy and use ‘ahenema’. The footwear is still decorated with the same old symbols and do not attract the youth to patronize. Again, the traditional way of polishing ‘ahenema’ discourages some people from using ‘ahenema’. The researcher adopted the qualitative research method and also employed descriptive and experimental approaches. Simple random sampling was used to select ‘ahenema’ producers, users of ‘ahenema’ and some youth in the Kumasi Metropolis. The researcher did interview, direct observations and pictures taken. Data were gathered, analyzed and interpreted. Some traditional symbols and their significance for application on ‘ahenema’ were identified and observed. Six motifs were developed from selected Adinkra symbols and were used to decorate on ‘ahenema’ after the researcher had gone through series of sketches and drawings. Wax-polished ‘ahenema’ footwear was produced from spraying paint and decorated with the innovative motifs. Many people would be attracted to use ‘ahenema’, if exhibitions and trade fairs are organized on ‘ahenema’ periodically. ‘Ahenema’ can also be given or attached to as prize for award winners.  
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy in Integrated Art (Leather Technology), 2015