Kente is a brilliantly colourful fabric, entirely hand woven by Ghanaian weavers. Kente is a silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips. The cloth was a sacred and royal cloth worn only in times of importance and was the cloth of Kings. It is an icon of African cultural heritage around the world and is easily identified by its dazzling multicoloured patterns of bright colours. Geometric shapes, and bold designs. Here are 5 facts about this amazing fabric.
Meaning Of The Word Kente
Kente comes from the word Kenten which means basket in the Akan dialect of the Ashanti people. It is also called nwentom in the Ashanti language.
The Legend Behind The Kente
According to Ashanti legend, two hunters, whose names were Krugu Amoaya and Wata Kraban, from the village of Bonwire, came across a giant spider and critically watched it spinning a web. Amazed by the web’s intricate beauty, the farmers went back to their houses curious to try and see if they could create something similar. They wove a cloth using fibres from a raffia tree following the patterns of the spider’s web. They took the product to their King who was so excited by the beauty of the present, that he promoted the weavers to the rank of royalty and became the King’s exclusive tailor.
- Every Colour Is Symbolic
Every colour on this beautiful fabric actually has a meaning. Every colour is a symbol of events related to the daily lives of the people. They represent different values and concepts of life. For example the colour black stands for; maturation, intensified spiritual energy
- It is The Most Popular African Textile
Kente is unarguably the most popular African textile and is viewed by non Africans as a symbol of the continent. Especially in the west, the cloth is adorned in celebration of African festivities and is highly used by African Americans during various ceremonies.
- Patterns And Designs
There are over 300 different patterns of the Kente cloth. Each pattern has a name and its own meaning. These meanings come from religious beliefs, political ideas, and social customs.