Tuesday, August 11, 2009


In order for any trip, vacation, or study abroad to be any success at all, one must purchase as many souvenirs as possible...preferably with a few you really don't need. I like to think I made only "very necessary, must-have" purchases!

This little doll was made by my bishop's wife. I love the authentic fabric, of course, and her hair! All the beads too. And on her back is her baby with the round head of hair. Such a cute touch because that is exactly how they carry their babies. And, holding to the African tradition of naming their kids with two names (one Ghanaian and one Christian) depending on the day they were born, my doll's name is Afua. I, being Sunday born, would have been named Anne Marie Akosua Hyer. (Christian, Ghanaian, Father's name)

I looked high and low for these next two finds. Early in the trip, mama wrote me and told me to make some fun purchases, but to also make sure I found something that would remind me of my time spent here in Ghana. I knew I had to find something that would remind me of all the many women carrying everything from chips to shoes to water on their heads while at the same time carrying on their backs their sleeping babies with their bobbing heads. I also knew I would hate it if I never found a little elephant memento from the crazy week we had at Mole Animal Reserve. So so lucky I found both after much perusal of the markets~

Around her middle in this profile you can see the little wrap she has around her. The little dot is the baby's head. Both of these wood carvings are two toned mahogany. You can see the shop owners hand carving them behind all of their market shops so they are original to each shop.

The other two elephants were a separate find at a nicer shop, seeing as how they are stone. Pretty huh?!

Doesn't this look awesome?! Basically, Africa leant itself quite nicely to my obsessions with fabric and jewelry. Here we see an abundance of the latter. They had the most inexpensive earrings and bracelets that are still so fun. I bought the two great bowls at another market and slowly they just kept filling with all my jewelry finds! The lime green earrings and the white with black dots earrings are examples of the cedi beads. The "dollar" is called a "cedi" and years ago they used to use these cedi beads as money, hence the name which has been transferred to their paper money today. The beads are everywhere. There is a story to EVERY ONE of these purchases! And the fabric beneath it all took me forever to bargain down, but I got it! They'll be good R.S. table runners I figure. :)

Now, this fabric is special. As in many cultures, black is the traditional color worn at a funeral. Something unique they do in the part of Ghana I was in is the addition of red to the funeral colors. I was there when one of the MPs (members of parliament) died and you could see many many people in black fancy dresses and robes for the men with red accessories of sashes and hair pieces. This was some beautiful fabric I found not for a funeral but just for fun~ And these beads were just everywhere so we all bought tons. Easy to do.

Paintings were everywhere. I just loved the simplicity in this one. Simple portrait to bring lots of memories back.

Jackpot! I found these at a market and at a shop around the corner with a nice lady and her husband. It was so tempting to buy it all. But I have ideas for each yard!


  1. I love that in other languages (like French, as you know) "souvenir" is "memory" or "reminder". I'm thankful I have my memories (in my psyche), but I'm also thankful for souvenirs or mementos to touch, and smell, and remind me of those special days in another land. I love the fabric.

  2. You did good...some fun everyday treasures, and a few that will save forever reminding you of a unique and once-in-a-lifetime month in your life. I love them all...but the wooden carving of the lady is beautiful.

  3. The children are so beautiful! Bet you are just a little homesick.

  4. What treasures! I love everything, the jewelry, bowls, fabric, pictures, statues. You now have a bunch of stuff for your treasures of truth! You will probably have to ask your mother what that is.

  5. I have to admit, I think my favorite is the adorable doll. So special because it was made by your bishop's wife. Precious!!!