Sirigu Women Organization of
Pottery and Art (SWOPA)

The northern inner wall of the SWOPA meeting hall

Sirigu is a village in the northeastern part of Navrongo in the Kassena-Nankana Administrative District in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It is renown for its traditional arts of pottery, wall decoration, basket-weaving and mat-sewing. The women of Sirigu contributed to a large extent to the interior decoration of the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Catholic Co-Cathedral in Navrongo in the Upper East Region, which is arguably one of the most respected cultural relics of the area.

Since 1997, more than 150 women of Sirigu have formed an organization for pottery and art. Their aim is to preserve and develop their traditional culture and to provide tourist services and produce high quality art that has its roots in the village culture. This way, they earn some money to supplement the farming activities and improve their social position. The women received intensive training to produce high quality pottery and paintings. Tourists guides have been trained to show visitors the cultural and natural beauties of the village.

SWOPA was represented at the Ghana International Handicrafts Fair in 1997 and the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) in 1998. At both fairs, the group drew a lot of people and some orders were made for their products. More recently, a well designed and decorated visitors'center with an art gallery and guest house has been built. Since 2002 Swopa has received many national awards for their outstanding tourist services and quality art work. A highlight was the visit of the Secretary General of UN, Kofi Annan, and his wife on August 16, 2002. Mr. Annan said of the women participating in the project, “These are people who have not given up, despite the difficulties.”

Go to SWOPA website and learn more!

The western inner wall of the SWOPA meeting hall

The southern inner wall of the SWOPA meeting hall. See also display of pots.

SWOPA Participation at NAFAC, 1998

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Last updated on March 9, 2004.