Ewe Proverbs - A Source of imagery for textile designs

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There have been several ways of generating ideas for textile designs and these comprise ideas from nature, environment and coined symbols from sayings especially from the “Akan” language where the “adinkra” symbols originated. These “adinkra” motifs or imagery have been excessively used and there is the need for new ones to be generated. It is upon this, that the researcher is exploring selected proverbs of the Ewe people to generate motifs to be used for both batik and textile print designs. The current symbols used by students and professional craftsmen were identified and examined to have firsthand information about the meaning and usage of the symbols. The study collected and identified Ewe proverbs through opinion leaders and documented literature, which were developed into symbols or imagery suitable and appropriate for batik and textile design prints. An interview guide was used to collect data from students and stakeholders. The findings indicated that proverbs can be a source of inspiration for designers when generated into symbols. The study revealed that the symbols when converted into product designs such as textiles, leather, ceramics, sculpture and painting works will bring variety to the market. It also shows that proverbs can be a source for generating symbols for textile design and other field of art.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Fine Arts (Textile Design)