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December 5, 2001

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This morning we enjoyed more time in Kumasi. Since this city was the ancient capital of the Asante kingdom, it remains as the heartland of Ghanaian culture and history. The museums show the original golden stools and spears of past kings. An old British fort stands near the city's center, faithfully kept in good condition by Ghanaian historians willing to preserve the colonial record. Kumasi is a large city but it keeps the atmosphere of an authentic, old African township. No Western chain stores or garish neon signs clutter its streets. We see men wearing bright kente cloth. Women tend small stalls filled with hand made goods. The markets overflow with the sounds and smells of people haggling and trading in close quarters. Unfortunately we don't sightsee here for long. Faithful to our speed-travel style, we left Kumasi this morning. We drove four hours, for us a short ride, back to Accra. There we decided to see a movie. We paid the right price - 10 cents - for a movie in one of Accra's central theatres. This theatre looked more like an alley, no roof, rough hewn picnic benches for seats, the movie projected against a bare wall. More interesting was the movie selection, an Indian film spoken in Hindi without subtitles. We didn't see any Indians in the crowd. As far as we could tell, none of the people in the theatre could understand the dialogue, but they didn't seem to mind. No wonder American action films do best in developing countries; people here aren't too interested in listening to the words.
Probably the best known West African fabric is the colorful kente cloth from Ghana, made by the Ashanti people.
The Adinkra cloth is printed by creating lines with a wooden comb-like tool on cotton fabric.
Stamps made from calabash with adinkra patterns cut on them are used to print the fabric. The dye is made from a tree known as 'badie.'