african kente cloth
Dcumentaries & Films


Even from a distance, you can hear the sound of Kente. It is a garment but it has its own music in the making. The weaver even dances to the tune. Since the weaving process engages all the body parts, the weaver tends to unconsciously and uncontrollably move to the rhythm.

Obviously, dancing is not part of the weaving process but the process itself brings the impression or assumption of dance. The weaving machine or looming machine is usually a wooden framework with the fabrics or treads connecting to it as an extension.

Kente is a word derived from the word Kenten, which means Basket in the Asante language. The Akan’s also refer to Kente as Nwentoma. Which is directly translated as Weaved-Garment. It is indeed a royal cloth or garment worn only to grace important occasions. Kings and queens wear this cloth. In the Ashanti kingdom, the type of Kente worn by the King should not be worn by any other hosted king or chief. You will be stripped off it and be given another one which is below the King’s. So Kente is also used to define the supremacy of power at a particular gathering.

Historically, Kente cloth is from the Ashanti people. There is a small town in Ashanti region called Bonwire, it is the home of Kente. About 375 years ago, two brothers (Kurugu and Ameyaw) from the village got the inspiration from a spider spinning its web. Their first ever made cloth was from the black and white fibers of raffia tree. And this went through years of corrections and perfections even to this day.

Let’s watch a video on that fro youtube:

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