Artist: Dennis Doe Tamakloe
* 1961 in Accra, Ghana
His Christian name is Dennis and his African name is Doe. For the Ewe tribe (living between Ghana and Togo), Doe means someone who was born after twins. Tamakloe is the surname and means tortoise. For the Akan tribe (between Ghana and the Ivory Coast), Tamakloe means conqueror.
Since 1994, he has lived in Berlin as a free-lance artist.
The bear from Ghana is dressed in the traditional “Kente” cloth and wears golden jewellery. Kente cloth and jewellery are symbols of the Ghanaian heritage and are worn on important social and public occasions.
Kente was usually reserved for the royals and the privileged groups of society. The weaving method is passed on from generation to generation. The cloth is worn by men like a Roman Toga. For women, two pieces are used, one being made into a long dress and the other used as a shawl. The patterns are geometric and highly colourful. The yellow colour of the cloth symbolizes wealth and a royal attitude. The red colour symbolizes strength, strong bonds between families and clans. Blue stands for the heavenly love, green for the land and bountiful harvest as symbols of hope. White stands for wisdom, purity and birth. The gold necklace has a round shape with an internal rectangular part. The round shape represents the females and the rectangular shape the males in society. The two shapes together build the children, which are the future of society. The middle part of the necklace is a “stool” which is a symbol of authority. The golden bracelet on the right hand of the bear is made of symbols taken from “Adinkra”, the symbol language of the Ashanti tribe, with meanings like harmony, peace, strength, democracy, unity etc. The ring on the left hand also has its origins in the symbolic language Adinkra and means bravery, greatness, charisma and leadership.
The bear itself is painted in a brown colour to represent cocoa from which chocolate is made. Ghana is one of the world’s leading producers of cocoa.
Dennis Doe Tamakloe
Sponsor: Lufthansa AG