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Kente Cloth

The original Kente is a fabric composed of woven silk and cotton produced by the Ashanti in Ghana.
There are more than 300 types of kente with various designs and colors, of course each of them has a name and a precise meaning.
Today  beautiful cotton fabrics that reflect the original designs of kente are produced to create clothes, bags, hats and shoes. It ‘hard to find a Ghanaian who does not have at least one outfit / accessory in Kente and its distribution extends to the whole of West Africa.
Originally the kente, also called nwentoma, was only worn by the kings as it was very valuable  so only few could afford it.
But there is a legend behind the creation of this particular fabric: in 3000 BC Ota Karaban and Kwaku Ameyaw from the town of Bonwire (Ghana) observed a spider weaving its web and they also began to weave raffia. Over time the they improved their technique. The news of this new fabric came to the Asantehene (King of Ashanti – Ghana)notice, who adopted it as a regal fabric to use on special occasions.
Here are the meanings of some of the colors used in Kente
White: purification, healing, sanctification.
Green: fertility, prosperity, vitality, growth
Red: reliability, readiness
Yellow: royalty, spirituality, fertility
Blue: fortune, peace, harmony

Ruth Maccarthy

Couple in Kente
Couple in Kente
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By Siki Msuseni
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By Dionne Gooding

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