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Kente - One of the most sumptuously colored textiles used for clothing is Ghanaian kente cloth, made by Asante and Ewe...read more

Kente - One of the most sumptuously colored textiles used for clothing is Ghanaian kente cloth, made by Asante and Ewe weavers using specially designed looms. Kente is woven in very long four-inch (9.5 cm) narrow strips and then cut to size and sewn together. Both weavers and sewers are men. Kente cloth is the traditional/national cloth of Ghana, it is worn by several Ghanaian tribes, most especially the Akans and the Ashanti royalty. Kente is made in Akan lands such as Ashanti Kingdom, (Bonwire, Adanwomase, Sakora Wonoo, Ntonso in the Kwabre areas of the Ashanti Region). Akans refer to kente as nwentoma, meaning woven cloth. It is an Akan royal, and sacred fabric worn only in times of extreme importance and was the cloth of kings. Over time, the use of kente became more widespread. However, its importance has remained, and it is held in high esteem with Akans. A variety of kente patterns have been invented, each of which has a particular concept traditionally associated with it. For example, the Obaakofoo Mmu Man pattern symbolizes democratic rule. The symbolic meanings of the colors are explained in an attached text. All Kentes have been collected in the field, some of them already in the 1970ties.

Adinkra - Adinkra is a block printed cloth, using a stamp carved out of a calabash gourd. The design is carved into the hard outer surface, and a handle is made by pressing raphia palm splints into the soft inner skin. The stamps are then dipped into a dark ink made out by boiling root bark from the badee tree. Each of the traditional motifs  has its own symbolic meaning (see chart in doc. annexed)

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