Wooden masks from Ghana huge draw at IITF

New Delhi: Authentic tribal face masks, wall-hangings in bright colours and paintings depicting waterfalls of west Africa are a huge draw at the Ghana stall at India International Trade Fair (IITF) here.

"We have brought in a range of products which represent the culture and beauty of the entire west African region," Eunieoo, who represents the Odekl Ghana company`s stall, told reporters.

According to Eunieoo, the handicrafts at her stall are mostly wood-carved items such as pens, face masks, wall hangings and jewellery.

"Ghana`s wood carved items are very famous around the world. It is due to the intricate work that goes in detailing everything," Eunieoo said, pointing towards the detailed workmanship on a face mask with metal embroidery.

"The tradition of wooden masks goes to back many-many centuries. In our culture, it represents the identity of the person who wears it, and the tribe, language and heritage he belongs to," she said.

The west African country`s stall also exhibits wood-carved replica of birds like kingfisher and sparrows.

"Ghana has thousands of species of birds, like kingfisher," she said.

Apart from the handicrafts, the stall also features a variety of musical instruments like drums and handmade bongos.

"I also teach my customers few tunes from Ghana as these tunes are real easy," Eunieoo said.

Asked about the response to her products, she said: "This is my first time here and a lot of people have been coming and buying various items."

She added that most buyers also inquire about the folklore behind the items and her country.

"They (buyers) are also interested in knowing the meaning behind face masks and other wall hanging. They are interested in Ghana," she said, adding there were many similarities between Indian and Ghanian handicrafts.

Small handicrafts like pens and wind chimes range between Rs 200-Rs 1,000 while face masks and paintings starts cost anywhere from Rs 1,000 to Rs 22,000.

Customers on their part showed a special interest towards Ghanian jewellery and paintings.

"This is a new thing for us, especially the bead jewelleries and leather bangles," said south Delhi resident Impali Seth.

Eunieoo said that apart from sales, she also received retailing proposals.

"Some Indian businessmen have contacted me with proposals for retailing my product here and we are keenly following it."

The 31st edition of the annual IITF opened Monday and has attracted 6,000 exhibitors. Over 1.5 million visitors are expected during the 14-day event which ends Nov 27.


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