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Bonwire Sacred Grove (Click to plot point using Google Maps. 6°46' N, 1°28' W).
Approaching Bonwire Sacred Grove 

The village of Bonwire is located ~20 km east of Kumasi, on the road between Ejisu and Juaben.  This village is the leading Kente weaving center in the Ashanti Region and the community’s Kente shops and weavers are a tourist attraction.  The community was settled in the early 1700’s and at least two forested areas were set aside as sacred sites by early village authorities.  The larger of these two groves is an approximately 8 ha forest patch that has likely been protected for nearly the entire 300 years since the community was founded.

The sacred grove is an approximately 45-minute hike along a footpath that starts at the village and winds through the small family farm plots that are worked by the local residents.  Although certain sections of the forest had burned in the early 1980’s, much of the canopy was still intact when we first began to sample here in 2001.  But high winds associated with a rainy season storm in late June 2002 uprooted nearly every old-growth emergent tree originally in this forest remnant.  More recently, at least three old-growth trees in the grove were illegally harvested for timber.  Plants from the grove still provide the cloth dyes used by the village’s renowned, traditional Kente weavers.  Taboo prevents access to this site on Wednesday’s.












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