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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kente cloth

The traditional kente cloth of Ghana is instantly recognizable by its warm hues and strong patterns. As with the batik fabric of the Pacific islands, kente cloth was originally the garb of royalty. Genuine kente cloth is woven in narrow strips on a small loom; the strips are then sewn together into full garments worn for ceremonial occasions. The patterns in the cloth have symbolic meaning; the "pinwheel" pattern on this tie symbolizes "resistance against foreign domination, superior military strategy." (The other parts I'm not so sure of.) Kente cloth should be worn with a vertical-horizontal orientation, not diagonally as on this tie. But then this is just a printed imitation of kente (by Gianno, cotton) and not the real thing. Real kente ties are available (at surprisingly low prices) from and Gold Coast Africa, to name just a couple that came up at the top of a Google search.


Anonymous said...

Great ties! Your tie was immortalized by our friend, Catherine Gutsche, certainly a talented artist (and a great tie). Congratulations on the wedding--I hope you'll be exceptionally happy together.

Thanks for showing me that Glen Baxter has a website. I've been a fan of his for years but hadn't seen his work in a long, long time.

And just for knowledge, kente cloth is woven by men (a previous existence as a textile curator).

Burl Veneer said...

Hi, thanks for dropping by! And for the bit of info on kente cloth, I did not know that. "Textile curator" sounds like a fascinating job.