A man in Sabiye weaves a fiber mat (dԑnglԑ in Nafaanra) using 'gbannaa'. The mat is rolled and he works on its outer edge. Mats like these were pliable and used in a variety of ways. People slept on them within their houses. When people died, they might be wrapped in one of these valuable mats before being buried. Two photos. Sabiye, 1994.
Owusu Alexander holds a cutlass, raffia palm fronds and a stick that he has cut from the base of raffia palm frond. He has harvested these raffia materials in preparation for weaving a mat. Sabyie, 15 July, 2022.
Owusu Alexander uses a cutlass to trim the woody base of a raffia palm frond. He will use this stick as a base for weaving a raffia palm mat, rolling the mat on to the stick as the work progresses. Sabiye, 15 July, 2022
Dried raffia palm fronds, sorted in preparation for mat making. Owusu Alexander has separated the portion of the fronds he will use for mat making from those portions that are not useful. The stiff ribs (right) can be used to make brooms and the thin pieces (left) will be used as tinder in making fires. The fronds in the center are those that he will use in mat weaving. The knife he has used to separate the fronds lies on a tree root at his feet. Sabiye, 17 July, 2022.
Owusu Alexander demonstrates the process of starting a raffia palm mat, beginning by layering fronds that he has split down the middle. He folds one set of fronds over the other with his right hand, while using his left index finger to secure his work. Sabiye, 17 July, 2022.
A dried raffia palm frond prepared for mat weaving. The stiff end of the frond has been removed and the frond has been split into two pieces almost to the base. Owusu Alexander folds and layers the two halves before weaving. Leaving the pieces attached at the base facilitates his weaving process. Sabiye, 19 July, 2022.