Sunday, April 24, 2011

Adinkra Symbols and Aba House in Ghana Inspire Middle School Students

Adinkra Symbols 

For one segment of our handmade paper project, the Art 2 8th grade students at Oakville Middle School learned about Adinkra symbols and handmade paper as part of a cultural exchange of creative ideas at the Aba House in the suburb of Accra, Ghana through the Collaborative Exchange Website. Here's a video of the Aba House children making paper from sugar cane at
A quote from their website: "Cross Cultural Collaborative, Inc. is a non-profit educational organization that promotes cultural exchange and understanding. Our programs emphasize multigenerational and multicultural collaborations encouraging participants to find rewards in different forms of creativity. We bring artists from different cultures together in a supportive environment where they can get to know each other through the language of art. At the core of our program is the belief that interaction between African and non-African artists enriches the creativity of both groups."

After researching the history of Adinkra and how Adinkra stamps are carved from gourds, the Art 2 students each designed their own personal symbol and created a stamp with adhesive backed easy-cut and mat board.

The students tested printing a variety of colors and patterns with their personal symbols.

When the students were not working on their Adinkra stamps, or making handmade paper, they were each designing a book focusing on their personal interests, beliefs, etc.

Each book was folded and cut from a single sheet of white paper. The students glued their stamped handmade paper to the front and back covers.


Besides the homework research assignment on the history of Adinkra, students were assessed on: their Adinkra symbol design and craftsmanship of printing; the continuity of their idea or theme, craftsmanship and effort for their handmade book; the number of handmade paper pieces (at least 5); and their responsibility in the art studio classroom.



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