By Antoanette Sedinam Akoto-Tenu
According to history, the cowry shell was one of the most successful and universal forms of currency in the world. It was one of the major resources in West Africa which were able to make its way into the cultural fiber arts, taking in a deeper symbolic and ritualistic meaning.
The cowry shell had all the characteristics required of money. It was a symbol of wealth, prosperity, and fertility. It was indeed a valuable item and very significant in the transaction of businesses and the exchange of goods and services.
Though some believe cowry shells have lost their value as compared to ancient days, it has become necessary to add it into fashionable items just to cement its relevance in today’s era. Cowry shells have a benedictive power to enhance the beauty that’s why currently cowries are used more often as ornamental beads such as incorporated into jewelry, worn in the hair, decorating statues, baskets among other uses.
Though not everyone still values cowry ornaments, since there are modern ornaments that can be used to adorn ourselves, some who still hold their cultural integrity would not want to lose trait of that. They find ways and means to use cowries to adorn themselves either in their hair, around their neck, legs, wrist, ankle, fingers among other parts of their body.
Currently, there are few designers who have taken it upon themselves to promote cowries. One of such creators is the Ivorian designer Lafalaise Dion mostly addressed as the Queen Of Cowry. Though she studied Journalism at the Institute of Science and Technology in Abidjan, Dion always aspired to be an influential designer someday.
Dreams they say do come true as Dion has become one of the celebrated designers who has consistently been able to use pure cowries to fully design. LaFalaise Dion believes the only way to hold on the legacy left her ancestors and explore the richness and uniqueness in the African culture is to artistically create ornaments. She is best identified with creating headgears that mask the face and neckpieces made from cowries.
UPCOMING TOP EVENTS!
Ghana’s leading fashion event Accra Fashion Week is scheduled for 7-11 December 2022 following their 5th-year celebration last year in 2021. Accra Fashion Week is a platform for African designers that can be compared to fashion weeks across the major capitals. It aims to fill the void which sees tremendous creativity and culture across the continent with the absence of an operating fashion infrastructure.
The epic event took place at Ghana Dubai in Accra, and saw models march down the steps from the Kwame Nkrumah Monument whilst being followed by a spotlight, before circulating the central fountains. Memories of the exciting night still give chills as guests revisit the experience on youtube.
However, rest assured that 2022 is going to be even more exciting with greater performances and an upgraded designer collection. FashionGHANA.com is sure to bring you the exclusives we did on www.FashionGHANA.com/TV. All last year’s shows are available to watch on youtube. Designer’s registration is ongoing on the AccraFashionWeek.org website.
As we embark on another year of celebrating African culture, our theme for 2022 is “Afrofuturism.” This term was created to explore the developing intersection of cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of history as it relates to the African Diaspora. During this year’s events, Afrochella will bring “Afrofuturism” to life through fashion, food, art and music. In 2019, the African Diaspora returned home to the continent for the “Year of Return.” This year, we will explore the endless possibilities of what “Afrofuturism” could look like in 2022 and beyond.
Afro Nation is a brand new music festival, offering a lineup packed with talent from the worlds of Afrobeats, hip hop, R&B and dancehall
Afro Nation will bring together the best artists in afrobeats, hip hop, r&b, dancehall and bashment. Expect world-class programming of live performances and DJs.
#AfroNation is an all-inclusive music and arts festival meant to celebrate and eulogize African culture across various continents, not just Africa.
DIRECTION COLLECTION: OUT NOW!
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