n Institute of African Studies Research Review - - a cultural history of the Ga funerary loin-cloth

Supplement 7
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



One is not certain what form of apparel the Ga-Adangme developed for themselves for day to day as well as for ceremonial clothing, before their encounter with the Portuguese in the mid or late 15th century. However, archival materials obtained from accounts of persons who visited the Guinea Coast in the 18th Century, such as Roemer and Isert, give vivid description of a well-developed dress-culture.

One striking item of apparel shown in archival drawings, referred to in the accounts of both Roemer and Isert, is the silk loin-cloth known as . According to the detailed description of Isert, there were different styles and manner of ways of donning on this silk loin-cloth (). For men, the ends hung down both in front and behind the lower part of the body. For women, the ends were rolled up into a ball, which took a saddle-like form, known by the Ga as . This apparel persisted in the Ga dress-culture, until it was replaced by the Portuguese influenced underwear called amongst men.
The paper explores the historical evolution of the as a funerary men's underwear and seeks to establish its socio-cultural significance for the Ga people.

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