“Whispers of the beads” is an arts exhibition by Kati Torda which explores ideas, impressions, observations, feelings, emotions, convictions and flashes of the past events communicated through beads. Her collection, which is on display at the Archi Afrika gallery opposite the Jamestown, gives meaning to every aspect of beads. As part of my new year goals, I thought it will be very appropriate to talk about the beadmaking industry in Ghana, of which Kati is doing absolutely well with her Sun Trade Beads marketplace.
- Some of Kati’s beads collection at the gallery
Seeing her exhibition, I was thrilled and thought of the many things that can go right when we work our crafts the right way. Intrestingly, she is Hungarian who has been caught by the love and trade of traditional beadmaking. She was on Sane Gbaa radio program at the Jamestown Cafe via Eazzy FM to discuss her work. This is a program I have grown fond of since the last months of last year, you should listen or come through to Jamestown Cafe to participate in the discussions. Her revelations were insightful. Going forward, she encouraged more Ghanaians to work with beads and to also patronize them.
Below are some highlights gathered from the Sane Gbaa encounter with Kati Torda:
There is the language of beads: wake keeping, puberty rites(dipo), naming ceremony, culture, breathes life. #WhispersofTheBeads #arts
- Sane Gbaa radio discussion
Wear beads as a national/cultural pride to express ourselves to other parts of the world. You need to be identifiable. #WhispersofTheBeads
Bead size and bead resonance all said a lot about where people were from. #WhispersofTheBeads
Understand the nature of design in the form of arts and culture: beads, architecture, music, poetry, writings… #WhispersofTheBeads
Beads made and traded in Ghana carry a lot of history. From the cradle to the grave, beads accompany us and tell our stories.
In conclusion, you need to be silent and observe and listen. Beads communicate meaning. Fellows, let’s take a cue from Kati and be like her.
Kati is Hungarian who moved to Ghana with Ghanaian husband in 1979. She has been in Ghana ever since and uses beads as a means to express herselfand to identify with the Ghanaian culture.