Kente - Traditional Weaving in Ghana
Once a hunter moved into the forest and watched a spider weave its web. He was so fascinated by the shape of the web and the technique of the spider that he decided to use this technique for weaving clothes in his village. This is how the art of Kente weaving was born. At least when it comes to the anecdote that a corresponding weaver in Accra told us. No matter what legend you would like to believe in this, the fact is that Kente has survived as an art and craftsmanship to this day and is an important style of clothing with extensive symbolism for many ethnic groups in Ghana.
Kente clothing is mainly worn by important people and on special occasions. Compared to other clothes, these hand-woven clothes are of course also quite expensive and not affordable for all Ghanaians.
There are different Kente patterns, all of which have different meanings and differ from region, culture and ethnicity. Accordingly, there are always special designs for very special occasions, which are worn, for example, by chiefs or politicians. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, also liked to wear such specially made Kente fabrics, and today there are patterns bearing his name.
Traditionally, Kente weaving in Ghana is a men's affair and in fact I haven't seen one woman doing it. In addition to contract work and production for the market, there are even some weaving competitions, with various disciplines about creativity, battery and speed.