Smocks are traditional clothes that are worn by many Ghanaian men for different occasions. They are often won to portray authority and power. It is very uncommon to see traditional leaders, expecially in the northern regions to wear any different attire apart from the smock. This shows how prestigious it is in our culture.
In the olden days, it was perceived that only men are to wear to smock but these days with more stylish and designers emerge, they have been able to successfully design a female version of the smock which they also wear for special occasions and sometimes casually.
Smocks are woven in the northern part of Ghana. It is regarded as the home for the traditional clothes. Smocks are woven in the Upper West Region, Northern Region, Upper East Region.
There are various types of traditional smocks peculiar to various traditional areas of Northern Ghana which produce the bulk of the nation’s traditional smocks. There are generally three traditional smock designs identified with the country’s Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
The country’s Upper West Region is known for producing the best “cool colour” smocks. These generally combine different shades of blue and green or both colours with other “quiet colours” such as yellow, white, blue and green.
The Upper East Region is noted for “warm colour” smocks in which various shades of red or orange dominate other colours of the fabric. The Northern Region is noted for its “heavy duty” smocks-so called because of their generally large size and heavy fabric.
There are now various designs of traditional smocks for different occasions such as festivals, the performance of rituals funerals, weddings, child- naming ceremonies, as well as for leisure wear and informal occasions.
The fugu may incorporate two or more colours. Some common colour combinations are red, blue and white, black and white only, green, and white, green and red, deep or light black and white etc.
The fugu has a wide range of embroidery on the front, back and around the neck, most of them quite startlingly artistic. The typical colour for smock embroidery is white.
The wide range in quality of smocks is reflected in the range of prices, which may be as moderate as GH¢350 cedis or up to several hundred cedis. Traditional trousers and a cap to match will usually raise the cost of the traditional outfit considerably.
We have gathered three different smocks from the three regions in the north; Upper West Region, Northern Region, and the Upper East Region to compare and contrast.
This is the type that are indigenous to the Upper West Region, that is the Dagaabas.
This is the type that are from the Upper East Region. That is of the Frafras.
This is the design from the Northern regions. The choice of the Dagombas.
There are others that are also woven in the region but these are the primary or the basic types that you can get. Which region has the best smock.