Preserving the Asante cultural craft of traditional goldplating: Lessons from Asante goldsmiths
Owusu Panin Kwame Baah, Dickson Adom, Awuni Samuel, Ama Fening Peggy, Nicholas Addo Tetteh (2023)
Various techniques are used by jewellers in Ghana in depositing a film of gold on surfaces of jewellery items. Although traditional goldplating has and continues to chalk a high level of excellence in jewellery making in Ghana, little documentation has been done on it. While traditional goldplating has been practiced for decades in Ghana, the introduction of electroplating into jewellery in Ghana is downplaying its relevance. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to find out how indigenous Asante goldplating technique is done in Ghana. The study adopted the use of an art-based research design under the qualitative research approach where personal interviews, photographs, and participatory observation were used for collecting qualitative data from 19 purposively sampled Asante’s goldsmiths at Manhyia and Ayeduase in Kumasi, Ghana using expert sampling. The findings of the study have shown that traditional gold plating is an aesthetically pleasing, low cost and efficient technique used by the Asante goldsmiths that has not lost its worth. The study contends that skills and knowledge in traditional goldplating should be passed on from goldsmiths to jewellers and other apprentices who are interested in learning the craft. This would help preserve and promote this rich cultural craft for posterity.