Old Extra Fine Huge Kente Cloth – Ghana – Outstanding Piece
Silk and cotton; cm. 310,0 high x cm. 205,0 width (122.05″ x 80.71″). Good overall conditions (small imperfections and signs due to age and use).
The word “Kente” which means basket comes from the Akan or Ashanti dialect. Akans also refer to Kente as nwentoma, which means woven cloth.Kente cloth is deeply intertwined with the history of the Ashanti nation. The Ashanti Empire or Confederacy, which was located in what is today Ghana, first emerged in West Africa during the seventeenth century. The Ashanti are members of the Akan people who speak the Akan or Ashanti dialect.
Kente cloth designs vary, with the different designs, colors, and patterns each having their own special meanings and stories. But Kente cloth also 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 similar to many other kinds of West African weaving in its basic design, Kente cloth is unique in its intricacy and perfection, as well as the wide variety of colors used in the patterns.
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