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Kente cloth is the most popular and celebrated cloth in Ghana and in the whole of Africa. The strip-woven cloth called Kente, made by the Akans (Asante) peoples of Ghana and the Ewe peoples of Ghana and Togo, is the best known of all African textiles. Its renown has spread internationally, so that it is now one of the most admired of all fabrics in many parts of the world. Its colorfulness makes it stands out wherever.
Traditionally, kente is woven in Ghana by the Ewes and the Akans (specifically Asantes). The Asante kente is woven in villages just outside Kumasi in the area around Bonwire, Woonoo, Maape, Adawomase and Ntonso. Kente is also woven by the Ewe in the Volta Region. Even though Asante and Ewe kente may look very similar, there are significant differences, especially in the weft designs and in some technical areas with respect to the weaving process. Ewe kente is often identified by its figurative motifs.


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Cloth weaving in the Volta Region of Ghana is centered around Kpetoe (Agotime Kpetoe, Agotime Agbenyinanse), Anlo and Somme areas (Denu, Agbozumey, Klikor, Wheta, Keta), and Mafi-Kumase area in the Tongu district as well as the Kpandu area of the northern Volta Region. Ewe weavers utilize an almost identical form of the narrow-strip loom to that of the Asante, and there is considerable evidence to suggest mutual influence between the weavers of the two traditions, as might be expected from the long history of contacts, both through trade and conquest between their peoples
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The Akan and the Ewe have used cloth not only for personal adornment but also as a powerful expressive medium of communication. Among the Ewe as well as the Akan kente cloth is a store of knowledge: skills and knowledge inherent in the weaving process; mathematical ideas (geometric shapes, number counting and number series, and tessellation); and the belief systems and history of the people.
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Symbolic meanings of the colors in Kente cloth:
* black -- maturation, intensified spiritual energy
* blue -- peacefulness, harmony and love
* green -- vegetation, planing, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal
* gold -- royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity
* grey -- healing and cleansing rituals; associated with ash
* maroon -- the color of mother earth; associated with healing
* pink -- assoc. with the female essence of life; a mild, gentle aspect of red
* purple -- assoc. with feminine aspects of life; usually worn by women
* red -- political and spiritual moods; bloodshed; sacrificial rites and death.
* silver -- serenity, purity, joy; assoc. with the moon
* white -- purification, sanctification rites and festive occasions
* yellow -- preciousness, royalty, wealth, fertility
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There have been many disputes over the origin of the word Kente. Ewes believe tht the words stems from "Kete" which means to open and press. Kete in Ewe language describes the weaving process or the weaving mechanism of the cloth. The Akans however believe that the word derived from the word Kenten(basket). Kenten however is a Fante (an Akan sub-group) word, but the Fantes have never been known for weaving cloth.

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