April 21 Meeting With Melody MacDuffee of Soul of Somanya
At April’s meeting, Melody MacDuffee, shared her serendipitous route to Somanya, Ghana on the western coast of Africa. When a random email appeared in her inbox in 2007, asking her to come and teach beading skills to the people there, she accepted the offer and planned a five week visit. Her first trip was an eye-opener. The extreme poverty contrasted with the people’s joy for life and openness to learning new skills. The community accepted her with open arms. Within four days she was hooked.
Today, Melody has been to Ghana three times and is anxious to go back. Soul of Somanya typically works with small groups of young people that lack a support system or job, teaching them skills that give them a livable wage. Most of the young people bead for Soul of Somanya for a couple years, saving the money they earn to help pay for a high school education or a paid internship.
The Krobo beads are made from glass and each is hand painted. The traditional Krobo beads are copied from the old trade beads from Europe and came with just a few designs. Today, the Western influence and desire for variety has caused a flurry of experimentation. The variety is a feast for the eyes. Soul of Somanya also carries a line of wire findings that incorporates symbols from the culture.
(Click on images to enlarge.)
You can support Soul of Somanya by purchasing the beautiful Krobo beads and wire work at the Soul of Somanya website. Click here.