Dana Wilson

Publication Date

Spring 2002


World famous for their gold ornaments, I chose to examine the evolution of Akan jewelry production in "Asante Indigenous Goldsmithing: The Impact of Contemporary Culture on Akan Jewelry". It was through an apprenticeship with local indigenous goldsmith and several interviews that I was able to gain insight into not only the techniques and tools used, but the discrepancies that devide those who work in the traditional manner from goldsmiths who incorporate more contemporary machinery. After three weeks of field research in Kumase, I realized it is a very ambigous line that separates the two.Further literary research encouraged me to write aiming at surpassing the generalization surrounding indigenous goldsmiths. For I feel it the level of skill, creativity, and quality of jewelry is subjective to the individual. Furthermore,it is the demands of contemporary Ghanaian culture which today's goldsmith must work around, greatly affecting his choice of design and materials, thus inhibiting his ability to enter the international market.