The Cloth That Represents African Culture
It has a History in Africa
- Traces back to 1600 A.D.
- The legend: two friends from Ashanti, now the world's leading kente producer, witnessed a spider weaving its web, and wanted to recreate something like it. So they created kente, and brought it to the Ashanti leader at the time. The leader liked it so much that he deemed it the new royal cloth.
- Not known specifically when Kente was first created.
What is Kente?
It's intricately woven cloth, usually with bright and interesting colors. Kente is worn at ceremonies and special occasions usually, and the patterns and colors on the Kente depend on the occasion, because each color has a specific meaning:
- yellow- yolk of egg and crops, holy & precious
- pink- calmness, sweetness, tenderness
- red- blood, strong political or spiritual feelings
- brown- earth, protecting from evil
- blue- sky, holiness, love, peace, and harmony
- green- growth and good health
- gold- wealth and power
- white- pure and healing
- black- aging, spirits, and ancestors
- grey- ashes, which are used for spiritual cleansing
- silver- the moon, serenity, purity and joy
- purple- like maroon, it's associated with earth, and healing
Some Examples of Kente Use:
So What Does It Mean to Africa?
Kente is important to African culture because its really symbolic. It represents religion, feelings, and opinions all through the meaningful colors. It's the most famous fabric in Africa, and because it has been in their culture for so long, it is a symbol of African pride. It is part of African history.
- Grove, Migs. "Wrapped in Pride." Wrapped in Pride. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
- N.d. Photograph. Flickr.com. Flickr, 14 Oct. 2007. Web. 27 Jan. 2013. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/1570855678/>.
- Ofori-Ansa, Kwaku. "History of Ashanti Kente Cloth." History of Ashanti Kente Cloth. Midwest Global Group, Inc., 2009. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
- "Kente Cloth." Kente Cloth. WebExhibits, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
- "GHANA NATIONAL CLOTH - KENTE." GHANA NATIONAL CLOTH - KENTE. Ghana Review, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
- "Wrapped in Pride." Oakland Museum of California. Oakland Museum of California, 13 Oct. 2001. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
- "TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE." : KENTE CLOTH: GHANA`S ASHANTI CULTURAL HERITAGE TO THE WORLD`S FASHION CIVILIZATION. N.p., 3 Dec. 2012. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
- "African." African. Kindred Artwear, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.