The Making Of Batik In Ghana.

Posted by Naami Tettey on

Batik is a popular fabric in West Africa made with special  patterns and colours using dye and wax. It is both an art and a craft, which is becoming more popular and well known around the world. The art of decorating cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practised for centuries in Asia, West Africa and other tropical nations.

The Process

To make patterns on batik fabric, selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them. The cloth is then dyed and the parts covered in wax resist the dye, and remain the original colour. This process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create more elaborate and colourful designs. After painting hot wax onto the fabric it is usually dyed several times to get the intended design. The cracks in the batik wax make the fabric look special. 

The Origin

What is the origin of Batik?  Batik is said to have originated in Indonesia in the 13th century. In the 13th century, the process of making batik was only done by the princesses and relatives of the King. Batik has become a skill that must be owned by the princess and family palace.Many of Indonesia's provinces have their own typical batik colors and motifs. Indonesians wear batik as a prized fashion item for formal and casual occasions.  In Ghana, Batik has an important place in our culture, it includes Adinkra symbols. Adinkra symbols are   a unique representation of cultural expressions, concepts, values and traditional mythology of the Akan tribe of Ghana. Examples of Adinkra symbols are akofena, akoben, ananse, akoma ntoaso, ani bere, gye nyame, etc This cloth is meaningful because it is a medium of cultural expression and symbolism for certain tribes in Ghana. serves as a source of income for some families, while for others a cultural heritage.

The Importance of Batik Today

Batik serves as a source of income for some families, while for others a cultural heritage. Batik is worn by different tribes in Ghana and it's worn on a variety of occasions including parties, outdoor games etc but rarely at weddings. It is worn both by the old and the young, men and women  alike.

Below is a video showing how batik is made from scratch to finish.

Source: Miles Comiskey YouTube Channel

How do you wear batik and what does batik mean to you?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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