In today’s world when one speaks of Ghanaian fashion, a few characteristics comes to mind. The first is print cloth which the majority is produced overseas and the minority produce in Ghana is not owned by Ghanians.
Then we have the Kente cloth with carries a lot of culture and royality. Although it’s market is also slowly being faded away by foreign European and Chinese manufactured textile prints that emulate its colors and patterns.
Then there is the growing popularity of the batakari / smock cloth with is very nice and beautiful to wear, but to expensive for our designers to adopt essentially for creative styles. Which means most clothes made out of smock are made by those that actually manufacture it with very little creative designs to it.
However, an item of Ghanaian fashion that is hardly adopted by our designers are the cowry shells. In today’s day and age if a fan of African culture and fashion identifies them on clothes, 9 times out of ten it most likely would be the work of a Guinean creative, and very very few times Ghanaian designers.
Little do we Ghanaians know, the word “cedi” of our very own currency comes from a local word meaning a cowry shell. Cowry shells (from sea snails) were once used as money in Ghana. And clothes with Cowry shells were once worn by the well sorted Ghanaians of the community. When this traditional culture faded away in Ghana, well that’s a mystery. But in the growing world of African fashion, Ghanaian fashionistas could consider this great design accessory.