KENTE/KITA: African Fabric from Ghana or Ivory Coast | African Clothing

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KENTE/KITA: African Fabric from Ghana or Ivory Coast | African Clothing

 

What is kente or kita?

Kente or Kita is a traditional tissue of the ethnic Akans (Agnis, Baoulés, Abron, Attiés etc.) and Ashanti, Yoruba, Ewé, but also ethnic Krous (Bété, Dida, Godie etc.) Ghana and Côte d ‘ Ivory. It is also very popular in West Africa, notably in Togo and Benin.

Origin of kente / Kita.

Originally, it is a royal fabric worn by Akan kings and notables of high society. Indeed, according to legend, two hunters left in the forest in search of game would have surprised a giant spider (the famous Anansé) weaving its web. Back in the village, they imitated the making of the spider’s cloth by the raffia threads which they offered to their king who was very amazed.

Originally from Ghana or Ivory Coast, kente or kita clothing is worn on special occasions and official ceremonies. Symbol of nobility, power and prestige, this fabric will never cease seducing us. 

Fabrication of the Kente / Kita fabric.

Handmade, manufacture of kente or kita consists in weaving cotton or silk threads, of several colors between them. Long strips are thus obtained, which are connected one after the other. It is an ancestral cultural heritage that is handed down from generation to generation.

Weaving kente or Kita is an activity generally reserved for men and marketed by women.

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The patterns and figures of the fabric have precise meanings according to the cultures. And there are also different types of kente including kente ashanti (geometric patterns in bright colors) and kente ewe (human or animal motifs).

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The meaning of the colors of kente / kita:

Yellow: symbolizes wealth, generosity of the earth, opulence and the sun.

Green: expresses life, nature and caution.

Blue: means wisdom, patience, humility, heaven and earth.

White: symbol of purity, innocence, spirituality and peace.

Black: expresses mourning, mystery and darkness.

 

The meaning of kente / kita forms:

The square symbolizes earth, femininity and the cosmos.

The triangle expresses birth, existence and death.

The diamond: means the existential duality of existence and the destiny of man.

The circle: it is the infinite and the divinity.

The cross: symbol of the elements of water and fire and strength.

 

Kente / Kita, nowadays.

Kente or the kita have become traditional outfits unavoidable. Very much in vogue internationally, this fabric is worn by many celebrities and is today part of the new fashion trends of recent years. This fabric is found on bags, jewelery, clothing and shoes.

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