Kente Cloth

Textiles are symbolic and unique to different cultures. The Kente cloth is a silk and cotton fabric native to the Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Originally, a sacred cloth of kings, it has now become an icon of African cultural heritage around the world. Each of the bright colors has a symbolic meaning.

Materials needed: Strips of paper and fabric, ribbons, and other trim

Cut ribbon and paper or fabric strips into the same lengths. Begin weaving together to create a Kente-inspired textile.

Kente Cloth (Ghanaian). Seattle Art Museum. Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company

Kente Cloth (Ghanaian). Seattle Art Museum. Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company

El Anatsui at the Brooklyn Museum. The Ghanian artist combines old aluminum materials and weaves them into tapestries inspired by West Africa's traditional textiles.

El Anatsui at the Brooklyn Museum. The Ghanian artist combines old aluminum materials and weaves them into tapestries inspired by West Africa’s traditional textiles.