Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cameroon Activity: Making a Replica of Traditional Toghu Cloth | World Cup for Kids Project


This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs World Cup for Kids Project. Each time Cameroon plays, I will be posting about something you can do with your kids to get to know the Cameroonian culture. You can follow along with each country playing in the World Cup herefind our introduction and schedule here.

Village council wearing Toghu
Photo Credit: 
© Manon van der Lit (Used with permission)
Our World Cup posts about Cameroon include interesting facts about the country as well as a recipe for a popular drink kids enjoy, here, and a list of books kids will enjoy here.

Toghu cloth is the traditional cloth worn in the Northwest region of Cameroon. Traditionally it was only worn by royalty (both men and women), and is now worn by all for formal occasions, feasts and festivals. It's a heavy black cloth, with bold, colorful embroidery. You can see a few more photos of beautiful toghu worn here.

Dr. Clement Njiti in full traditional Toghu
Photo Credit: © Nathanael Eagle  (Used with permission)
The patterns are so bold over the black, we decided to do a bit of an art project as a "replica" of the traditional pattern. We took inspiration from the patterns and used red, white, yellow and orange yarn glued over black cardstock.

Traditional Toghu
Photo Credit: © HostetterMinistries (Used with permission)

Making Art Inspired by Cameroonian Toghu Cloth


Taking inspiration from the patterns seen in the photographs above, we used black cardstock - rather than construction paper because it's a deeper black and sturdier. The dominant colors in Toghu embroidery are red, orange, yellow and white, but there are occasional uses of other colors like green and blue. We dug through our yarn and found colors to use, although we would have preferred yarn that was all the same width. 


Though I did my art freehand, Pea very meticulously drew hers out first in pencil on regular paper. When she was happy with her design, in order to transfer it she went over every line with heavy thick line of pencil. Then she turned the design over onto the black cardstock and using her pencil, colored over where she could see the drawings with some pressure - this transferred a very light pencil mark onto the black.


Then, very simply go over the design with white glue, and place yarn over the glue. 


And the finished pieces:



Don't forget to find out about what other bloggers and families are doing to follow along with the World Cup and learning about different cultures. I've outlined how it works in my introduction and will be featuring other posts on our Facebook page.


You can find more cultural and historical activities at the following linkups:

17 comments:

  1. I love the pieces you guys made - you really captured the feel of toghu.

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    1. Thank you Nate, that means a lot coming from someone who was able to appreciate it first hand. Thanks again for the use of your photograph - that toghu robe is stunning!

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  2. very good idea for crafting with children!

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    1. Thank you Eolia - I think it could be adapted for a wide range of ages too, and not all our projects do that!

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  3. Amazing! Pinning, tweeting, sharing on fb, etc:).

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    1. Thanks Becky :) Hopping over to your amazing Kente cloth post, and will be sharing that brilliance!

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  4. You guys have been super busy these days, with all these posts! And they are all so excellent!

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    1. Thanks Phyllis :) We had also been overdue for some West African crafts, so that worked out well!

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  5. The pieces turned out really good. The colors are so nice and bright, and I kind of think the different widths of yarn worked in your favor.

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    1. Thanks Ticia, it was fun to work with the bright colors over the black (and it isn't the first time we've grumbled about the knubby red yarn we have in our craft stock - yet I never seem to replace it!)

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  6. You are basically writing my African curriculum...for which I thank you very much!

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    1. Sounds good to me! :) I better get on the ball then, there's so much more you need for your curriculum! Talking drums, griots, kente....

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    2. And I'm looking forward to it all!

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