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Published: 11 September 2021

By Andy Ross

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Article of the week - number eighty-four - kente cloth from Ghana

Kente cloth from Ghana is woven in narrow strips of symbolic colours and motifs.

Once the strips are made they are sewn together to create large pieces of cloth for wearing. These pieces are a gift from a friend who acquired them in Ghana in the early 2000s in the place they were made. Traditionally made by men, the cloths are often worn to commemorate special occasions. 

Kente cloth is considered one of the most complex of the African fabrics and is certainly the continent's best known material. It has a fascinating history while tradition is keeping the practice of making and wearing it alive. Modern weaving of Kente with new materials is introducing new motifs and ways to use the fabric commercially and affordably.These pieces, made of cotton, however were probably made for sale to visitors; a reasonable assumption given that the colour red means death or violence.