This West African fishing boat comes from Accra, Ghana. It was acquired by my father in the early 1950s when he worked as a telecommunications engineer in the Gold Coast (as Ghana was then known, before it gained independence in 1957).
Fishing was traditionally an important economic activity among the African peoples living along the Atlantic coast of West Africa. As a child I remember seeing the fishermen going out with their nets in these brightly-painted wooden boats, and then riding back through the surf and pulling the boats up onto the sandy beach.
This model is carved from balsa wood. The cross-benches (thwarts) are made of pieces of wood, lashed to the sides (gunwales) with fine wooden strips. Originally there were 2 masts side by side in the front thwart, with a large square sail, but these have not survived. The sides are decorated with a triangular carved and painted black and white design, and the inside is painted green. There is red and black painted decoration on the bow.