Ma Fiԑn of Gbao (left) and Abena Wusu of Dompofie (right) spin cotton thread. Their spindles (gԑndԑ in Nafaanra) are weighted by fired clay spindle whorls (gԑndԑ kaan in Nafaanra) which help the spindle to maintain an even spin. Ma Fiԑn uses a calabash bowl as a spinning surface. Abena Wusu uses an enamel-ware bowl placed on a basket. They use their right hand to guide thread onto the spindle as it spins. In their left hand they hold the raw cotton from which the thread is being spun. They control the tension and flow of the cotton by alternately pulling back and easing their left hands. Thread forms as the spindle spins, with the finished product building up in layers toward the spindle's lower end, near the whorl. The baskets on top of which they spin used to store spinning equipment when not in use. Until recent decades, spinning was a routine household activity for women who then gave thread to men skilled in weaving to make cloth for the household. Spindle whorls found on archaeological sites dating to the late 18th and 19th centuries tell us that spinning was also a household activity during those centuries. In the photo's background harvested foods are drying (groundnut, cassava, chili pepper). A large basket and other containers (including a plastic tub) sit next to dried calabash ready to be sent to market. To the right, a clay water pot (chͻkoo in Nafaanra) rests on a metal basin and in the top right is a metal water barrel. Four photos. Gbao, September, 1982.
A basketry fish trap (exa in Ewe) made and used by Ewe fishermen in the Banda area, Ghana. Traps like these were used for fishing between the months of August and November. They were effective in catching different types of fish three inches in length or longer. Agbegikrom South, December, 1982.