Fair trade pioneer to give presentations about Cameroon crafts on Sept. 30, Oct. 2

Hans Knopfli, a pioneer of the fair trade movement and the sales of third-world handicrafts, will present two talks at Tennessee Tech University, as part of the Center Stage Series.

The first talk, set for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, in Clement Hall Room 212, is titled “The Western Grassfields – Social Structures and Crafts: Basketry, Pottery, Blacksmithing, and Music.”

The second talk set for 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2, in the Johnson Hall Auditorium is titled “Royal Art and its Symbolism: Architecture and Carved Royal Symbols.”

Knopfli was trained as a cabinetmaker in Switzerland before joining the Basel Mission, and he traveled to Cameroon as a member of staff of the indigenous Presbyterian Church in 1956.

While in Camerron, he played a part in the struggle against poverty. Through his work there, Knopfli pioneered a serious concern with traditional indigenous techniques and products.

He has written many books on Cameroon crafts including Drums, Drinking Horns, Brass Casting in the Technique of Lost Wax, Pottery, Weaving with Raphia Fibres; Woodcarving and the Blacksmith’s Art; Mats, Baskets, Calabashes and other Utensils for Everyday Life; and Music and Musical Instruments, Traditional Religion, Native Laws and Customs.

Each of his presentations is free and open to the public.

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