Wednesday, 30 November 2016

KENTE - THE DRESS FOR ROYALTY IN GHANA

Pop start, Michael Jackson in Kente
In my tour around the world, I was fortunate to visit the great land of Ghana where I was adorned in a colourful Ghana traditional attire - Kente. 
Each and every colour of the kente cloth is symbolic


BRIEF HISTORY OF KENTE
The origin of Kente is explained with both a legend and historical accounts. A legend has it that a man named Ota Karaban and his friend Kwaku Ameyaw from the town of Bonwire (now the leading Kente weaving center in Ashanti), learned the art of weaving by observing a spider weaving its web.

Kente, with its bold and beautiful colour blend

 Taking a cue from the spider, they wove a strip of raffia fabric and later improved upon their skill. They reported their discovery to their chief Nana Bobie, who in turn reported it to the Asantehene (The Ashanti Chief) at that time.

The Asantehene adopted it as a royal cloth and encouraged its development as a cloth of prestige reserved for special occasions." The Kenta dress is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips. The southern Ghana Akan people see the Kente dress a royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance and was the cloth of kings. Over time, the use of Kente became more widespread. However, its importance has remained and it is held in high esteem with Akans.

UNIQUE COLOURS, UNIQUE PATTERNS

This is something a lot of people may not know, each and everyone of the colours on a Kente dress represents a meaning, for example: yellow, symbolises preciousness, royalty, wealth, fertility, beauty; white, symbolises purification, sanctification rites; black, stands for maturation, intensified spiritual energy; gold, represents a state of royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity; green, stands for vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal; blue, is the colour for peace, calm and tranquillity, harmony and love; purple, represents the feminine charm; grey is the colour for healing and cleansing rituals; maroon for mother earth, healing; silver, symbolizing  serenity, purity, joy; red, stands for political and spiritual moods; bloodshed, sacrificial rites and death and pink, goes for than purple to represent the female essence of life.
President J.J Rawlings

BOLD, BRIGHT, BEUTIFUL
Nelson Mandela Madiba in kente cloth

Me too! 😀

The  multicolored patterns of bright colors, bold designs and geometric shapes, distinguishes the Kente dress from any other dress around the world. If you are visitor to Ghana and you have not seen your reflection in Kente dress, then you have to sleep and wake up again. Don't leave without sharing!

2 comments:

  1. This is very educative, i love the blog

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is truly enlightening.
    We need more history on origin of things.
    Thank you Sir for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete