Sep 27 2021
Our wood culture tour meeting with the fisherman and the canoes makers in MOREE, a village in Cape Coast located at the central region of Ghana is unforgettable. The villagers shared their experience with wood, how is it important to their community. In that village canoes making and fishing are the main activities after farming. During our conversation with them we were told that fishing has some rules, prohibition, and rituals in sum, the fishermen have their own traditional way of fishing. All the process has been being passed from generation to generation. It all starts with canoes making that also undergoes a long process. According to them fishing has been beneficial to Ghana as a nation and specially theirs families. To make a canoe they used the trunk of a tree called “WAWA” in the local language. Seeing them work on that long wood slab is very satisfying and amazing to watch. The canoes making process involves everyone, old people and young one support each other with mutual help. When they are done making the canoe or when they want to change its position they gather to push the canoe to the ideal position. They do it singing local encouragement and warrior’s songs. The atmosphere is overwhelming. We interacted with them within a short period of time and they automatically turned some of our words into lyrics. The slogan Wood is Wood is immediately turn into a song. The fisherman told us that they are using wood for survival purposes. Stop using wood, would mean stop living for them. They fully understand that they should not waste wood, rather it should be used when needed, when necessary. They understand that wood should be used in a responsible way because their survival depends on the durability of wood and other forest products.
It takes four to six days for eight to ten people to finish one canoe. When the canoe making is completed it is either sold to another village or it is brought on the sea for fishing. The fishermen in MOREE goes on the see at night for finishing, only to come out the next day. “Fishing provides food to everyone in this community and wood is the only material we get the canoes from. So we should not forget to restore the forest where we get that wood from” said one of them. One thing is sure that we should come together as one to protect our forest for ourselves and for future generation.