John Kofi Nsiah
Adinkra Stamp Carver, Ghana


Everybody calls him "Teacher" Kofi. He is John Kofi Nsiah from Ntonso, about 15 miles north of Kumasi, Ghana. Ntonso is one of the craft villages that surround Kumasi, the capital of the Asante. Ntonso is known for its textile weaving (kente) and printing (adinkra). "Teacher" Kofi is a weaver, adinkra stamp carver, adinkra cloth printer. These days he spends his time carving adinkra stamps which he sells to cloth printers and others.

Listening to "Teacher" Kofi explain the name and meaning associated with each of the symbols he carves onto the stamp is like listening to the griot, sage, philosopher, historian - all rolled into one. No wonder he is called "Teacher." Actually, the title "Teacher" came from the time he was hired to teach adinkra cloth printing to students at the local middle school in the 1970s as part of Ghana's Continuation School Curriculum Program.


these pages submitted to africancraft.com by George Kojo Arthur,
May. 1999 -- last updated, Jan. 2002