What is African kente?

Summary. Kente is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan tribe in Ghana. Kente is made in Akan lands such as Ashanti Kingdom and by Akans in Ivory Coast. It is also worn by many other groups who have been influenced by Akans.

What does the kente cloth represent?

Kente is a meaningful sartorial device, as every aspect of its aesthetic design is intended as communication. The colors of the cloth each hold symbolism: gold = status/serenity, yellow = fertility, green = renewal, blue = pure spirit/harmony, red = passion, black = union with ancestors/spiritual awareness.

What does Kente mean?

Kente (Akan: nwentoma; Ewe: kete) refers to a Ghanaian textile, made of handwoven cloth, strips of silk and cotton.

Why is kente cloth so special?

Originally, the use of kente was reserved for Asante royalty and limited to special social and sacred functions. Even as production has increased and kente has become more accessible to those outside the royal court, it continues to be associated with wealth, high social status, and cultural sophistication.

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What does the kente stole represent?

Across the United States, graduation ceremonies are rowed with students garbed in traditional black or otherwise uniformly colored robes. … Stoles are typically a single base color that represents the wearer’s particular academic achievement or field of study.

What do African patterns mean?

A major form of expression, African patterns are popular as a means of personal adornment and a medium of communication. These exquisite textiles give wearers and admirers insight into social, religious, and political African contexts in an abstract and approachable way.

What does the African colors mean?

Red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation; Black: for the people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; Green: the abundant and vibrant natural wealth of Africa, the Motherland.

Where did kente originated from?

Kente cloth comes from a textile practice that originated in Ghana centuries ago. The fabric has come to symbolize cultural affiliations from West Africa across the diaspora, but legend has it that a spider spinning a complex web inspired the earliest kente techniques and designs.

Who brought Kente to Ghana?

The method of producing kente, called strip weaving, has existed in West Africa since the 11th century. In 1697, the King of the Ashanti Kingdom, Osei Tutu, selected several weavers from nearby towns and villages to travel to neighbouring Ivory Coast to become experts in the complex art form.

Is Kente cloth sacred?

Kente is an Akan royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance and is the cloth of kings and nobility, before finding its way into bags, and scarves sold around the globe nowadays.

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What is the African shawl called?

The dashiki is a colorful garment worn mostly in West Africa. It is called Kitenge in East Africa and has been a dominant wear in Tanzania and later Kenya and Somalia. It covers the top half of the body.

How do you wear kente?

There is an art to wearing kente. To wear kente properly, it must be worn so that the woven patterned strips are straight horizontally and vertically. In addition, the bottom edge of the cloth should be even all the way around.

Who invented kente cloth?

The origins of the Kente cloth go back 400 years to West Africa, in what is now modern day Ghana. While its invention is often attributed to the people of the Ashanti Tribe, the Kente cloth may have instead been invented by the people in the Ewe Tribe, who later shared the tradition with the Ashanti.

What is a Kente ceremony?

Description. The Donning of the Kente (DOK) is an annual cultural achievement ceremony celebrating the graduation of students who recognize their African roots. The Donning of the Kente Ceremony utilizes the Ghanaian Kente cloth as a symbol of African American heritage in the adornment of the graduation robe.

Is it OK to wear African print?

I’ve heard African designers in the U.S. say as long as people don’t wear printed pieces like an “African costume,” but instead, incorporate them into their own style, it’s fine for anyone to wear these prints.

What is a stole of gratitude?

What is the Stole of Gratitude? … The Stole of Gratitude is worn during the commencement ceremony. After the ceremony, the new graduate presents the stole to someone who provided extraordinary help or support, like parents, relatives, or mentors who have helped with wisdom, words of support, or with financial assistance.

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