Kente Weaving

121108_KP_Kente ClothIMG_8488-6

Kente Cloth is traditional cloth strip-woven from brightly-colored fibers into distinct geometric patterns. It’s probably the most immediately recognized African textile identifiable by the average westerner, even if the name is elusive.

Though the origin of this weaving style is up for debate (was it first made by the Ashanti of greater Ghana or the Ewe of the Volta Region and Togo?), its significance and appreciation is universal. Today the weaving patterns are printed on everything from hats to bags to plastic plates, and the artistic appeal has spread worldwide.

One of my neighbors recently began weaving his own Kente on a loom set up between our houses. I’m still amazed by how quickly these loom-masters work.


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