Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

The Copyright Thing Doesn't Work Here: Adinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

The Copyright Thing Doesn't Work Here: Adinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana

Article excerpt

Boateng, Boatema. The Copyright Thing Doesn't Work Here: Adinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2011, pp.224, (4 b & w photos, 7 color plates, 1 map), ISBN: 9780816670024.

In Ghana, adinkra and kente textiles derive their significance from their association with both Asante and Ghanaian cultural nationalism. Adinkra, made by stenciling patterns with black dye, and kente, a type of strip weaving, each convey, through color, style, and adornment, the bearer's identity, social status, and even emotional state. Yet both textiles have been widely mass-produced outside Ghana, particularly in East Asia, without any compensation to the originators of the designs. Thus, this contribution focuses on the appropriation and protection of adinkra and kente cloth in order to examine the broader implications of the use of intellectual property law to preserve folklore and other traditional forms of knowledge. …

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