Traditional craft practices are declining worldwide due to modern technology and globalisation. However, this decline is particularly problematic in West Africa, where it has been further accelerated by the influence of colonisation. These practices are not only a way for communities to connect with their culture and history but can play an important role in the growth of local economies. The loss of traditional craft practices in West Africa not only threatens the preservation of cultural heritage but also the livelihoods of artisans and the overall economic development of the region.
Ẹkáàbọ̀ (E-Kha-Boh) Is a collection of modular ceramic molds aimed at introducing a younger generation to traditional African ceramic practices. Through engaging with the younger generation, the project seeks to encourage the continuance and evolution of these traditions while also empowering communities to adapt to changing social and economic conditions. By utilising modern design techniques, the molds make the production of ceramics more accessible and adaptable to contemporary needs and aesthetics. Created with input from artisans, designers, and educators, their modular design allows for the production of a variety of forms, that can be sold locally and in export markets. The molds are accompanied by a digital platform that provides consumers with details about the artisans that made their products and connects artisans to each other further facilitating their innovation, creativity, and autonomy.