Ahima

Watercraft

Type: Canoe

Composition: Wood

Place: Africa

Use: Dugout sailing canoe

Date: 2004

Donor: Gift of R.G. Brown, III

Museum Location: 64

Ahimas are used for drift net fishing off the coast of Ghana.

Dugout sailing canoe (ahima), 2004
Prampram, Republic of Ghana
Gift of R.G. Brown, III

The practice of artisanal boat building in Ghana is passed on orally from father to son or master to apprentice. Diminishing forest resources, over fishing legal and illegal and the introduction of newer boat building techniques could potentially break the chain of knowledge passed on from boat builder to boat builder and associated crafts and traditions. – R.G. Brown, III

Ahimas are used for drift net fishing off the coast of Ghana. The canoes are roughly hollowed out from a huge tree in the country’s interior then trucked to the coast where they are finished and launched.

Sankofa in Adinkra — a fairly widespread West African alphabet of symbols — literally means “return and get it.” There are at least 3 symbols for sankofa, one of which is a bird looking backwards. It is used to symbolize “the importance of learning from the past.” Osrane ne Nsoroma is the moon and the star. Alone the Nsoroma is an 8-point star that symbolizes “faith and belief in patronage and benevolence of a supreme being.” With the moon, Osrane ne Nsoroma

Origin: Ghana, Prampram

Ahima