Giving and receiving of gifts are part of human existence. Gift is a demonstration of our love and appreciation to people. What constitute our gift carries meaning that may either be positive or negative.
The meaning of a gift is determined by the cultural orientation of the society. For example, if a man offers a guinea fowl to a household in a Bimoba society, it means he has spotted a lady of interest in that particular household but the same cannot be said if it happens in an Akan society.
Items that are usually given as gifts are many and varried. They can range from animals, farm produce, jewelry, cosmetic products, fabric and clothing and sometimes human. Let us look at the following gifts and their implications in our cultures.
1. Cosmetic - perfume: The issue of offering perfume as a gift has come as a controversy. Some receipients of perfume gifts may interpret it as offensive and insulting. They see it as being called smelly. However, it can be given to somebody you have a personal relationship with such as a friend, cousin, parents etc.
2. Special toothpaste and toothbrush: There is a headache when wanting gift somebody with toothpaste and toothbrush not knowing how your recipient may interpret it. To some, it may be offensive and insulting that may mean the recipient has mouth odour. It can however be given to close acquaintance without any problem.
3. Guinea fowl: This animal has recently become an object of gift in the Ghanaian environment. They are usually presented to people in high offices.
However among some tribes in Northern Ghana, guinea fowl as a gift may have a meaning beyond just a gift. When a man eyes a lady of marital interest, the man upon every visit to the house of the lady presents a guinea fowl to the father.
4. Kente cloth: The kente cloth is a traditional hand-woven cloth in Ghana. Though this cloth can now be found in most countries, it owes it's roots to Ghana. It is a most adored cloth for men and women of a certain pedigree.
Kente is a cloth of Akan tradition. It has however now become a Ghanaian cloth used by all cultures.
The kente cloth is one of the most valuable gifts one can ever present.
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