Ghanaian Kente Cloth
Kente Cloth is local to Ghana, a country located in West Africa. Kente Cloth there was worn by royalty. It is hand woven in wooden looms and is of very high worth. It comes in a variety of patterns, colors and designs, each of which have different meanings. According to Ghanaian mythology, kente cloth was first created when 2 friends watched how a spider wove its web. By mimicking the actions of the spiders, they created Kente cloth the same way. This story, wether true or not, shows the harmony between Ghanaians and mother nature.
As we look back in history, the Kente cloth is reserved for the Kings and is associated with royalty and sacredness. This is worn only during important times even in today’s world. Though the cloth has widespread acceptance and usage still it is held in high esteem among the Akan tribe and the Ghanaians in general.
The Kente cloth is one of the most famous and wanted fabric in the whole of Africa. Kente cloth is more than just clothing to be worn however. For the Ghanaians this represents the history, philosophy, oral literature, religious beliefs, political thought and aesthetic principles of life. The various colours in the cloth symbolize various aspects of life. Blue symbolizes peace and harmony. Gold colour mostly worn by kings in ancient times symbolizes royalty, power, esteemed status, spiritual purity and holiness. This colour is also used by the high priests in ancient times. Pink and purple colours are associated with women. White and grey colours symbolize sanctification, holiness, cleansing rituals and are mostly used by priests and holy people.
Lots of patterns have been invented over the times for different occassions. The Obaakofoo Mmu Man pattern symbolizes democratic rule. Emaa Da stands for novel creativity and knowledge from experience. Sika Fre Mogya symbolizes responsibility to share monetary success with one’s relations. These showcase the good nature and kind heartedness of the Ghanaian people.
In modern times Bill Clinton, then President of the USA wore the Kente cloth over his suit when he visited Ghana in 1998. His wife Hillary Clinton also followed the act! The Kente cloth has started acquiring worldwide acceptation and its popularity has been on the rise, especially where African population is large.