Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Kente Cloth: What Are The Meanings Of The Colours In The Designs


Kente cloth is a popular West African textile which is famous
for its multicoloured and geometric designs. Originating from
Ghana, it is classified as a national treasure and is only
worn on special occasions but why is that the case, what
makes it different from some of the other African textiles
out there? Well...

Kente colors are interesting to look at but its sole purpose
is not only to look nice. There are alot of complex and
different names and meanings to the patterns. In this
article I will elaborate on what some of these colors mean
and in what circumstance a person may wear a kente cloth
with that particular color.

Black on kente cloth often symbolizes maturity. A child may
be given a kente cloth on their 18th birthday with the
majority of the cloth mostly black or having many patterns
with black as the boldest color. This is to make known how
much they have matured in life and is an indication of them
entering into a new phase. Black is also linked with intense
spiritual energy.

Green is associated with vegetation, harvesting, spiritual
renewal and development. A kente cloth is worn with this
color included in its design to show an appreciation to
nature and all that it brings to us as people. It was worn
to keep a state of tranquility with the forest spirits.

A kente which has mostly patterns  of the color blue
represents peacefulness, harmony and love. It is often
connected with the blue sky and the calmness one feels when
looking up at the clear sky or even at the blue tides of the
ocean. The time in which a married couple become so
comfortable with each other that they no longer look at each
others faults and are in tune with themselves is also
potrayed by the color blue, it symbolizes that calming
feeling one has when they are around an old friend and
lover.

Gold represnts royalty, wealth and high status in society.
In the past gold was worn only by the leaders and kings of
the villages and towns. Kings would have whole kente cloth
robes made, with most of patterns being made from gold
colored silk weaving which would take almost a month for a
weaver to complete.

Pink is associated with the feminine parts of life, it
represents the soft touch of a female and the maternal love
of a woman for a child. It is a symbol of the care and love
that a woman gives to a man and how this helps the man to
reach his full potential and achieve great things. It is
mostly worn by women and is commonly worn during weddings.

There are still a few more colors that are used on Kente
cloth patterns that I have not covered but these are the
most common. The best way to describe Kente is to say that
it is effectively talking through color and this in itself
is a great African invention. One that has been passed down
from generation to generation.


About the Author:

http://www.authenticafrika.com is a site dedicated to selling
authentic handcrafted West African art pieces made by local
artisans that range from wooden african masks, african
paintings,kente cloth and many more..