The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Frafra Leatherwork and Brass Bangles

by Fred T. Smith
Kent State University

Leather worker. Frafra artist, Ghana, 1973. Photo by Fred T. Smith.


During the past few centuries, leatherwork has been an extremely profitable and widespread industry for the Frafra. Strips of red, black or white leather have been used to embellish walking sticks, bows, hats, knives and fly whisk handles as well as baskets. In addition, leather cushions, bags, amulets and wallets have been produced for both Frafra and non-Frafra patrons.