We have the Kente cloth in our selection as we find it very interesting as well as how it is deeply intertwined with the history of the Ashanti nation.
The Kente cloth reflects the history of the Ashanti people, from the emergence of the various Ashanti kingdoms to the development of the slave trade up to and including contemporary life in Ghana.
According to Ashanti legend, two farmers, Krugu Amoaya and Watah Kraban, from the village of Bonwire, came across a spider, Ananse, spinning a web. Amazed by the web’s beauty, the farmers returned to their homes eager to try and recreate the web. They wove a cloth first from white, and then black and white, fibers from a raffia tree. They then presented their cloth to the Ashanti Asantehene, or king, Nana Osei Tutu (who reigned from 1701 to 1717). Although the first kente cloth was made of raffia fibers, Kente cloth, which was associated with Ashanti royalty, was mostly made of silk during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Ashanti women only purchased the silk brought by these caravans but Kente cloth was woven only by men, as woman’s menstrual cycles were thought to interfere with the production of the cloth.
The Ashanti Empire or Confederacy, which was located in what is today Ghana, first emerged in West Africa during the seventeenth century. The word “Kente” which means basket comes from the Akan or Ashanti dialect.
You will notice that the kente cloth designs vary, with the different designs, colors, and patterns each having their own special meanings and stories. It is so vibrant and colourful and thus can easily be mixed for those happy and talkative outfits!