Mmofra Language Club participant in ceremonial kente and beads

 The story of beads is the story of time:

Of human life and history.

The story of beads, my very dear child

Is yesterday, of today, and ever.

                                                             Ama Ata Aidoo


Speak to me of beads, Grandma.

Speak to me

Talk to me of beads, Nana,

Talk to me.

She brightened up immediately

She looked at at me with a welcome smile

Grnadma pulled up a stool and sat

She listened well to me and asked:

You want a tale on beads, do you?

You want a tale or two

I’ll tell a tale or two to you

But to speak to you of every bead

In words that sing and dance like them

You and I shall surely need

More than my life in hours and days

More than your life in weeks and years.

A million lifetimes is not that much

If beads be the theme, the thought, the thing

We dive for beads, we swim, we float

We mine for beads, we comb the woods.

                                                                 Ama Ata Aidoo

Poems are reproduced from Ghana: Where The Bead Speaks by kind permission of the authors.