Essay on kente cloth

Kente fabric dresses

Kente cloth is closely related to Adinkra cloth, which has symbols stenciled into cloth and is associated with mourning. Weavers sit inside a wooden handloom to create long, narrow interwoven strips that are later sewn together by a tailor to make the traditional kente cloths. Examples of meanings behind the colours: Yellow — royalty, wealth, beauty Green — fertility, vegetation, forest, new harvest Red — blood of ancestors, political, death Blue — peace, harmony, love. I really am overwhelmed. Local dyes are preferred as the colours do not fade but most dyes are imported from China or Japan. Designs worn by Asante royalty may not be worn by others. They suggest that the name is derived from Kete which relates to the two alternating rhythmic actions ke and te, meaning open and press in the Ewe language associated with the weaving of the loom.

You can tell the symbolic meanings from the different designs and colours used. The Ewe is another ethnic group who also weave kente in Ghana.

Essay on kente cloth

Local dyes are preferred as the colours do not fade but most dyes are imported from China or Japan. The method of producing kentecalled strip weaving, has existed in West Africa since the 11th century.

kente cloth symbols

Or if you prefer you can draw your own design and they can replicate it for you. If the king declines to take the pattern, it can be sold to the public. The dye used to change the thread colour can be made locally by grinding the bark or leaves of trees.

Kente cloth patterns to color

Examples of meanings behind the colours: Yellow — royalty, wealth, beauty Green — fertility, vegetation, forest, new harvest Red — blood of ancestors, political, death Blue — peace, harmony, love. If the king declines to take the pattern, it can be sold to the public. In kente cloth colors are significant: Blue means love Green means growth and energy Yellow gold means wealth and royalty Red means violence and anger, White means goodness or victory Grey means shame Black means death or old age Royalty Even today, when a new design is created, it must first be offered to the royal house. Weavers sit inside a wooden handloom to create long, narrow interwoven strips that are later sewn together by a tailor to make the traditional kente cloths. Women wear two shorter lengths to form a skirt and bodice. However, African wax print manufacturers in Ghana and China, for example, are replicating the kente designs. Ahwepan refers to a simple design of warp stripes, created using plain weave and a single pair of heddles. All these towns are located in the Kwabre East Municipal in the Ashanti region.

These designs replicate registered Kente designs, but are often mass-produced outside of Ghana with no recognition or payment going to the Akan craftsmen and designers, which Boatema Boateng has argued represents a significant loss of income to Ghana. Other designs convey meanings of good health, wealth, strength etc.

Kente cloth meaning of symbols

Kente cloth has its origin from the Akan-Ashanti kingdoms in Ghana. The origin of kente is in the Akan empire of Bonoman. These fabrics are cheaper and more affordable than original kente cloth as they are printed by machine. The cloth symbolizes high in value. There are 3 kinds of weaving known locally in this village as simple, double and triple. Origins[ edit ] West Africa has had a cloth weaving culture for centuries via the stripweave method, but Akan history tells of the cloth being created independent of outsider influence. Pan-African Diaspora As one of the prominent symbols of African arts and culture, Kente cloth has been embraced by the broader African diaspora which means people of African descent wherever they might live. I have also worn it in respect of World Literature Today magazine, for the work they have done, for their dedication and commitment to excellence and making sure that they have found the best. The traditional hand spinning method is demonstrated in this short video clip. During her time there she visited several talented artisans including the kente weavers in the Ashanti Region. Kente cloth is closely related to Adinkra cloth, which has symbols stenciled into cloth and is associated with mourning. Today, the Ashanti royals still wear the sacred cloth usually draped across the shoulders, including traditional black and white designs, for prestigious occasions including: ceremonies, worship, outings, marriages and funerals. I am wearing this cloth, and I think many of you know where it comes from.

Each design has a specific name and significant meaning that reflects cultural values of Ghanaians as well as historical events.

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Kente Cloth Origins