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by Dale Massiasta

AASIDEASIME - Handshake 162
A symbol of unity and solidatity. When the Ewe say that "Asie wo novi", they want to say that only your friend, your sister, and brother will shake hand with you. Your enemy will not shake hand with you.

ABOLOKPO - Oven 148

ADETSOVI - Spider 166
A kind of spider that uncovers the tricks of another kind of spider in the mystic stories called in Ewe as Gli. The former symbolises intelligence.

ADEKPUI - Dagger (Hunter's knife) 154

ADOGO - Beetle 125
Adogo mewlia mi kple mito o. "A beetle doesn't wrestle excrement from the person who defecates it". Since the beetle depends on excrement it must establish good relations with whoever gives excrement.

ADZA - Boundary 001 135
Adza actually means "introduction." Indeed the adza in weaving introduces a new kete piece.

ADZOYA - Parasol 054
same as XEXI (umbrella): comfort and humility.
xexi menoa kekea yiazu o.
"An open umbrella is not taken to a grove". Humility counts if one must be reformed.

ADELAVI - Figurine 071
Awooden, earthen or metallic statuette of a person is extensively uesd in many Ewe and fon Fon shrines. It symbolizes the divine.

ADODO/AGODO - Metal Rattle 067 178
This is used in many Ewe shrines, especially in the thunder-divinity and earth divinity shrines, in which it symbolizes the earth divinity. A cloth in which this ritual object is depicted, certainly belongs to an initiate of the shrine.

ADOGLO - Lizard 100
Adoglo be gege tsona wu didi
"The lizard says falling down is faster than climbing down" Clinbing down is slower and less risky, but falling down is not. So whoever can fall down from a tree without injury like the lizard is great and should be congratulated.

ADRKPO - Mound 140
This is a special boundary mound set to ward off intruders into a land or an area prohibited. Further intrusions may have very serious spiritual implications.

ADUKLOTI - Tooth brush 136
One of the contemporary symbols in weaving. It may be an instruction of hygiene, or just an image of artistic representation.

AFLA - Tall grass 081 117 134

AFO - Foot 131
The importance of the foot is shown in many Ewe proverbs. There is a rare one: Afo meyia nugbe tso agogo tsia afe o. The foot does not go on a mission leaving the thigh behind. You cannot separate certain people.

AFOKPA - Footwear 042
Afokpa doto mesia nudza o.
"He/she who wears Shoes is never wary of thorns". Protection gives confidence.
Amenosodzi megbea afokpa mado o.
"A horse-raider does not go barefooted".The cost of a footwear is less than that of a horse. If you have the money to buy a horse, you must probably have the money to buy less costly things. In other words, if you make paths you must have legs to travel.

AGAMA - Chameleon 165 190
Lafudui melea nu kana na agama o. Agama ha zona binyabinya dia fodo.

"A fast animal does not feed the Chameleon. The Chameleon also walks slowly and feed herself". Slowness is not necessarily a disability.
The chameleon, Lisa, is also a religious symbol.
>>> AFEVO/Symbols: Mawu Sogbo Lisa

AGBA - Bridge 069
A symbol of connection, relation.

AGBO - Gate 141
There is an Ewe saying that one does not close a gate to God. On either side of the gate, God will be there.

One of the symbolic carvings in a divinity, showing an image of a woman carrying a load of trade.

AKAGA - Vulture107
Many proverbs are associated bwith the vulture. One states: Akaga togbui meto da kpo ne viawo nava to o: "The grandfather of the vulture hadn't got hair for his children to have hair". We inherit some of our disabilities, poverty or whatever. Another states: Akaga le do megbea akoli o: A sick vulture will definitely visit the refuse dump". Sickness should not prevent us from seeking the means of survival.

AGUME - Roots 163
The cause or the origins of something.

AKPAKPAXE - Duck 061
Akpakpaxe mekpo zi o wobe yeadu fia
"The duck does not have a throne and yet he wants to be a king". Directed to somebody who is not qualified for a position the person vies for it. That saying taken from an Afa code Ablaxoka.
Amekae akpo akpakpaxe fe alodofe?
"Who can see the duck sleep actually?" Said to an inquisitive person.

AKWABA - Doll 114
Akwaba doll is a fertility doll, one used to induce pregnancy spiritually. It is called Tasi among the Ewe, a wooden doll carried on the woman.

AMAGBA - Leaf 044 127
A cloth designed with a leaf will surely indicate that the wearer is either a herbalist or a spiritualist. Leaves and therefore herbs are extensively used in religious rites and in medication. Some proverbs captured by the leaf in weaving include the following:
Amagba le gbe nuti ha nye ame na efe fometowo.
"A leaf on a shrub is also a member of the shrub family". There may be a common useless person in the street. He/she is is highly regarded by his/her family.

AMETA - Cup 159
The drinking cup originating in the skull used as a cup represents "the head," a trophy of bravery. On the other hand, "God resides in the head" is a noted Ewe saying.

ASE - Staff 116
The ase is a staff and altar of many shrines, especially Afa, Yewe, Da and Axolu (earth divinities) shrines. It is the path finder, the altar on which divinities receive their sacrifices and offerings.

ASEGBATAMIA - Iron staff 115
Iron staff used as an altar. It leads a religious procession or is used in creation rituals. It symbolizes 'the way, the path."

ASI - Hand 02
Asi fodi kpekpe magbe nugbo
"A dirty hand is still friend of the mouth". Useful things will still be useful despite some deficiencies. A hungry man even eat poison.
Mawu wo asi gake asibidewo kata meso o
"God makes the hand but the fingers are not equal". God makes people differently.
Mawu deka koe nia
(of a pointed finger or raised index finger) "Only God knows what happens to me". I have enough undeclared sufferings. God is My companion.
Nudee wu nu ye asi vatsi awoba na nu
"That the hand should become a serf of the mouth is beyond explanation". It is the hand that works for, fights for and fees the mouth.Some will be born slave and servants.

ATIKESE - Tree in flower 051
Atsi kese meyoa xe o, xea nufo gbona daa.
"A tree in flower does not invite birds, the birds come by themselves". Good wares need no market calls. If were really competent and useful, there will be no need for us to talk about it.

ATIKLA - Chair 093
Has the same meaning of a stool.

ATITSOGA - Cross 073
The Ewe mark their premises with crosses when there is an epidemic. This is recorded in one of the Afa codes in which Afa made a pact with death, so that the cross is the sign of the pact between Death and Afa. A mark of the cross on a house reminds Death tat the house belongs to his friend Afa and should not be touched.But the belief of the Cross find new interpretations in the Christian uses of the Cross. The cristian meaning of crosses is now also associated with such designs in cloths.

ATOTO - Pineapple 182
Although Pineapple images in fabric show their relationship with the farmer, there is an Ewe expression that drives home the importance of crop to society. This expression is addressed to self-assertive, boasting, self-confident people, who presume authority and defiance. For example: "Dale has won the first race and that becomes a ripe pineapple in his forest. A ripe pineapple is certainly a perfect character, a perfect skill, etc. In the case of Dale, much lyes ahead to be achieved and he should not have stopped to the present success.

ATRAKPI - Step 066 085
Atrakpi in cloth design is a depiction of "one thing at time", doing the first thing before the second. It is in the proverb:
De wotana afi dzea azoli.
"One crawls before walking."

ATSIKPLO - "Star on top" staff 111
Many Ewe staffs symbolize the authority of the user, the clan, or the traditional ruler. One with a star indicates the importance of the user to society, clan, etc. The star symbolizes brightness, prominence, etc.

ATSUKPA - Bottle 170

AYIDA - Comb 015 018 126 153 173
Nyonu gbe atsu megbea ayidao.

"A divorcing woman never divorces comb". The comb is indispensable. relating to persons, certain people cannot be easily disregarded.

AYIYIDO - Spider net 180
There is an African proverb which says that when all the spiders you unite, they can net the lion.The spider itself is represented in many Afa stories in which there are many intricacies of his weblike cunning.

>>> ATITSOGA - Cross

BODIABO - Bottle 187

BOMBU - Bomb 075bomb
A recent introduction in the art of weaving, is an indication of the wide world of the weaver, who must draw from many wells. Its meaning is clear, "the world without bombs" for example. The last essay topic always given by a renowned headteacher at the klikor central School to final-year pupils.

DA - Snake 072 0(072_da)
The snake is a symbol of the Da/Dagbe (Snake divinity) of the Ewe. many proverbs are associated with the snake. A few are stated here:
Da si loloa efe flie kekena.
"A big snake has a board trail". We inherit what our past was.
Kpo menoa anyi wotsoa asi gbalo wua da o.
"When you have a club, you don't kill a snake with the bare hands". Don't take risks.

DAMOR - Snake trail 124
There is an Ewe saying that a big snake has abroad trail behind him/her: Da si loloa efe flie keke na. Important people will leave big footprints behind them.

DIAMOND 024 027

DONDO - Hourglass drum 038 183
This (also depicting KEKEVI - reel) represents an important musical instrument of many ethnic groups in Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, etc.
>>> KLIKOR ICON: EWU - drum

DONKU - Net eye 118
A net-eye is a warp-weft design of a fisherman weaver.

DZINUDZEDZI - New moon 033 037 099
The moon represents womanhood and cloths of the description were used in puberty rites in the past. Womanhood is determined by the menstrual period, which is counted by the appearance of the new moon Therefore, the term for women having their menstruation is: dzinu kpokpo "seeing the moon".

EDZI - Heart 090 105
Symbol of love and courage.

EKLO TA - Tortoise head 128 143
Klo metsoa ako anyi ho fona o.
"A prostrated tortoise is never swooped on by the eagle". Don't attempt something which is apparently futile.

EKPI - Treshold 189

ELO - Crocodile 063 (063_e)
Ne elo lolo wuu ha azi me vi koe wonye.

"However big and fat a crocodile is, it still hatched from an egg". Every person has humble beginnings.
Akpa klika mewua lo o, elo nutoe dzo kple efe akpa.
"The scaly skin does not kill the crocodile, the crocodile is born with its scaly skin." We are made in particular ways that may seem uncomfortable to others. People should accept their looks and what may be disability to others. people should bear their natural disabilities with fortitude.

EXA - Broom 144
The symbolism of the broom is found in its uses. It is used in cleansing the body, to ward off evil forces and to sweep physically.

ETO - Mortar 133eto
The mortar is a useful utensil. It plays a role in one of the Afa mystic stories in which the maize becomes a permanent slave of the mortar and pestle. Well some people do their duty, but that is a cause for others to suffer.

EWU - drum 101
The place of the drum in Afican musical life needs no explanation. But in cloth many proverbs are associated with the drum. Eg; Uu di gbodoagbodo vatsia nukpee: "A loud rub a dub that ceases suddenly is shameful", enterprises should be sustained.
Uu medzona ame de wodua ya: "one does not dance on the wind when there is a seaeon of drumming at home": one should participate in the events of his/her time.

EZE - Pot 079 (079_po)
Za mabimabi meyia to gbo to.

"A half baked pot is not taken to pond". Don't employ incompetent people.
Tre gbe zoa gbaagbae le nu.
"If the calabash divorces a pot, it is because it was broken". The water pot is permanently placed. It is the drinking cup that comes and goes. If it is no longer coming to the pot, then it is actually broken.

EZU - Hammer 186

This axe-shaped staff of the Yewe/Da shrine is used by initiates and priests/priestesses of the shrine as a symbol of authority and priesthood.The blade resembles he horns of the ram, also a symbol of the shrine.

FIAKUKU - Crown 083
Royalty and responsibility (Fia = chief, kuku= hat). The Ewe crown is actually called Dzegbe meaning load of salt. A heavy responsibility is royalty.

FIAYI - Royal sword 082
It symbolizes authority and justice. The proverb Nukoe wu ame wotso fiayi sea atie, means "Circumstances compel one to cut a tree with a royal sword". Necessity is the mother of invention.

FIAZIKPUI - Stool 045 110 130 132 (045_z)
Ziga lolo menye fia o.
"The possessor of a big stool is not necessarily a king". You may have a symbol of authority , but your competence must reconcile it.

FUDE - Funnel 155

GAFLO - Fork 053 091
A Fork is now a symbol o of affluence in ewe society, for the first user were great traders who copied from Europeans. Especially there was the belief that Europeans foods were expensive, eaten with forks.

GAGBE - Pan 171
Contenporary cooking utensil.

GATSI - Spoon 074 094
Contemporary design depicting its use as class and importance (some as stool/seat).

GBOR - Goat 070
Gbo tokpo mefia nnya vi o.
"A goat with cut ears can't counsel her children". Children live by parental goods or examples. A bad goat will rear bad kids.

Ghanian Flag 167

GLESI - Snake Necklace 060 129
from the visible physical lines on a snake. Gle's neck. Si is strands of woven raffia worm on the neck by priests and priestesses. Hence the proverb Tro yi le ameafe sie noa ko ne: "One wears the 'necklace' of the God that communes with him/her".

GLIGA - Hands of crocodile 164

HEDZE - Sunrise 174
Sunrise signfies the beginning of things, when people should start doing something important. It also signifies youth. But the Ewe in prayer would not ask for a life of the sunrise. He or she would have asked for the life of the sunset, longetivity.

HEDZEDE KPLE TODODO - Rising and setting sun 076 108 109 175
Hedzedze kple tododo ,kae tsonawu? "The rising and setting sun , which comes quicker?". Seize the opportunities of day and don,t wait for the future.

HLETIVI - Star 003 006 088
The Ewe believe in destiny, fate, and mission. So that people are born under different "stars", which determine their destiny or life performance. The star is therefore an important image or symbol used in weaving.

HUGBLE - Gold spoil 113
Said of a design in cloth wrongly done but nevertheless acceptable. Hu is god, Gble is spoil.

Italian Flag 168

KAKATI - Torch 157
A symbol of enlightenment, fame and search.

KEKEVI - Reel 038 183
This (also depicting DONDO - Hourglass drum) is a weaving tool,, held by Xevi, the bird-pulley.
One of the Afa songs speaks of the importance of Kekevi. Reel, Reed and others assisted Loom in producing the cloth. However, the role of Reel was never recognized by others.
>>> AFEVO: Afa divination song
>>> AFEVO: Tools
XEVI - Pulley

KODZI - Hoe 151
The importance of hoe to an agricultural community, Ghana. But there is also the saying that "a lazy hoe weeds the surroundings of a public place of convenience". Kodzi digbo agboti gbo koe wonlona.

KLETI ADZA - Stars boundary 176

Klikor is a town and a community of peaple living in the Keta and Ketu districts of the Volta Region of Ghana.A community of farmers, fishermen, traders,and craftmen, Klikor takes its name from KLI, a founding divinity of the Klikor community.
>>> BLAKHUD: Klikor

KLOTANKUENI - Four eyed tortoise head 158
A four sided image in the Afevo cloth especially.

KODZI - Hoe 151
The importance of hoe to an agricultural community, Ghana. But there is also the saying that "a lazy hoe weeds the surroundings of a public place of convenience". Kodzi digbo agboti gbo koe wonlona.

KOGANKU - chain eye (pendant) 057
symbolic of the importance of the chain in traditional Ewe jewelry, a design of social importance. The chain is the connecting factor in blood relations.

KOGAVI - Necklace 036 040 092 095 097 102 104 139 142
>>> AFEVO/catalog: kogavi

KOKOTSI - Cocoa stem 150
The importance of cocoa to Ghana.

KOTUIKOTUI - Circle 152

KPAKPA - Dove 062
The dove is a sacred bird of the Ewe in Klikor, for example, there is also its spiritual connection with the Adzima shrine.
The saying ,Kpakpavi medoa akloe o: "a nertling dove should not doze" are worlds of inspiration to be vigilant.

KPAKPALUWE - Butterfly 047
The butterfly represents velvet, beauty in cloths. In expressions, it represents ubiquitousness, a character of the roving butterfly.

KPETESI - Warp load 172 (172_a)
Weaving tool:. Formerly used a slang word covering illegal distillation, "kpetesi" is today the common name of "palm wine". See also below VU/WU - Shuttle.
>>> AFEVO/tools: Kpetesi

KPLO - table 188
One of the contemporary designs in Kete..

KPO - Fence 087
Hee bla kpo: "It is the rail that supports a fence", is an Ewe saying of the importance of unity. The fence is a symbol of family or household protection. A secure household is showun by the strength of its fence.


KUKU - Hat 048 123
Ta menoa ayi klo doka kuku o.
" "In presence of the head the knees does not wear a hat." Children should not behave like elders.
Ta gato medoa kuku heyi o.
"A big head does not wear a borrowed hat." Don't borrow looks. Cut your cloth according to your coat.

LOFODUI - Crocodile belly 039
>>> ELO - Crocodile

LOHO - warping tool
>>> AFEVO: Glossary | Warping

This bell-like staff is Used by Afa diviners and initiates in offering prayers. In this the staff is tapped to back invocation and chants. It is also carried along by new initiated who have not yet complete their initiation.

MAZI LE ATI DZI - Herbal pot on a tree 120amazi

NEKPLI - Portable stool 161

PADDLE - Pedals 052 184
Bicycle pedals, contemporary artistic expression in cloth.
>>> AFEVO: Pedals 106

PAPA - Fan 031 064 149
The fan is symbol of happiness and comfort.

PAPA - Fan 064
Symbolizing comfortability"

Design depicting the position of the prince of wales.

SAFUI - Key 009 012 106
Safui sesee wua gawo.
"It is a strong key that opens a door of riches". Hard work is the key to success.

SEFOFO - Forget-me-not 050 098
Thiskind of flower known locally as Forget-me-not is a lovers flower. Young men and women a few decades ago would put it in love letters to their loved ones.

SENTSI - Town / Bridge 084

SKAGBA - Load of gold 122
Sika gba meoa ameta tso do gawua ame o.

"A trader in gold does not go hungry". Otherwise the trade is extragavant and careless.

Small and big canoes 078

SOFI - Shovel 156
Contemporary artistic expression in cloth.

SPANA - Spanner 160
A spanner in cloth depicts a mechanic or a repairer of machines.

SUKLIKPE - Sugar cube 046 086
Sugar symbolizes sweetness of life, that is, happiness.

TAKUVI - Handkerchief 119

TEKPA - Scorpion 185
The scorpion is a symbol of untouchability.

TROKUKU - Priest hat 077 080 080_t
A bell shaped ritual hat is worm by Ewe priests /priestesses. It signities priesthood andawe.

TSITSI - Spectacles 179
Contemporary art design in cloth.

TSU - Rifle 121
Many sayings are associated with the gun in fabric. It shows the importance of the wearer, a hunter, a warrior or a blacksmith. It also represents an important message: Ku nemadia agbe mee wokpone le. Amesiwo dzi meda susu do be ne afea nadia woanya afe nam nye tu nye wuame diamewo, "To die and be buried is always known in life. Those I thought would come to my aid in time of death are the guns, they are both the killers and those who bury you". The gun represents nothing positive. It kills you and announces your death.

Not really a design, this effect shows the warp threads and marks the end of Klikor Icon

VU / WU - Boat, Shuttle 145
The shuttle holds the spiritual key to a successful weaving. The weavers say: Ewu meyoa kpetesi tso wodoa kpo toto o. "When the shuttle calls the drag-load, it does not fail to respond". This shows a strong relationship between the shuttle and the drag-load.
>>> AFEVO/tools: Vu

WUKUTI - Paddle 103
The paddle is one of the images depicted in the cloth for a fisherman..

XEVI - Pulley 068 146
Xevi is a weaving tool: the pulley holding the Reel, Kekevi. Lit. meaning "Bird", Xevi may be carved as a bird.
>>> AFEVO: Tools

XEXI - Umbrella 041
xexi menoa kekea yiazu o.
"An open umbrella is not taken to a grove". Humility counts if one must be reformed.

YAMEWU - Airplane 089
There is an Ewe saying that an airplane does not toot horns. Horns belong to cars.

ZI - Pipe 059
Proverb: "A king's syncophant will soon break his pipe" also the importance of smooking in the ancient ewe society .
Some decades ago,the earthen tobacco pipe was used by both women and men. This smoking tradition was as old as the ewe society. This tradition includes tobacco sharing at religious and other ceremonies. But the introduction of cigarettes into the ewe society has virtually killed this tradition, but Ewe women don't smoke cigarettes. Nevertheless piper still form part of the designs in hand weaving.

ZIKPUI - Stool 096
Domestic, not official as Fiazikpui (Fia meaning Chief).

ZIKPUI + YI - Stool + Sword 056
represents the royal stool, when stool signifies stability and the sword, authority. Therefore the sword is an indispensable relic of a royal stool.

ZUGBE - warp fork 058
otherwise known as atievi ( double stick) as against atideke used to make the warp, part of the kokloe apparatus for warp making.

unknown designs: - - - 055 065 067 

 Weavers' Portrairs
Robert Aleawobu
Alaska Azameti
Atsu Azameti
Kofitsei Azameti
Oscar Nash Azameti
Eva Aku Basile
Luciano Kwame Ghersi
Kofi Izaak Nugloze Hiatepe
Atimieku Husunukpei
John Kpeli
John Kpodoh
Mensah Kpodoh
Dale Massiasta
Selasi Massiasta
Kuma Mantey
Samuel Novixoxo

Weawing images
Weaving Klikor Icon 1
Weaving Klikor icon 2 (Aku)
Weaving Klikor Icon 3 (Robert)
Weaving Klikor Icon 4 (Atso)
display of Klikor Icon 1
display of Klikor Icon 2
example of a sewn cloth
That's all, folks!

Home | Click on Klikor Icon | Contents | Exhibitions | Extended text (It.) | CD-Rom | MAIL