Collection highlights

Kente

Kente fabric
Kente fabric
Ashanti people, Ghana
Factory-spun cotton and silk
215 x 340 cm.


The kente strip serves as the basis of the large cloth which Ashanti men wear as a toga. The kente cloths represent the peak of craftsmanship done by African weavers. They are also the symbol of the entire artistic activity of the Ashanti kingdom.

More than 20 strips are sewn one after another in order to reach the lavish magnitude of this ceremonial wear (approx. 220x340cm).

The African loom which was no more than 30 centimeters in width, while the narrowest was only 3 centimeters – contributed much to the custom of strip-sewing. It is fascinating that the weaver produces one single strip, having to bear in mind the pattern, which he cannot perceive until the entire strip is woven. Yet, he does so with such great precision that after the weaving process is done the patterns match perfectly.

From the catalogue: Ashanti: Art, Culture, Heritage (2005)
Author: Ana Garić
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