Kente Cloth (detail)
Kente is a strip woven cloth of silk, cotton, and now synthetic threads produced by the men of the weavers guild among the Asante of Ghana. One of three types of cloth woven by Asante men, kente cloth incorporates an eloquent language of proverbs, authority, and history. Over three hundred patterns have been identified; many more exist. Aided by his linguist/advisor, an Asantehene or paramount chief carefully chooses a length cloth based upon its visual message. Each cloth contains layers of meaning, so dressing is not a matter of covering one's self in a protective shell but is an extended form of symbolic communication.
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