Textiles in Ghana
Textiles in Ghana

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Textiles in Ghana

3 Making

3.1 The people who make kente

In Section 3 you will learn more about the people who make kente and adinkra.

Activity 7

Once you’ve watched the video, make a few notes on what you learnt about the people who make kente.

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Skip transcript: Who Makes Kente?

Transcript: Who Makes Kente?

Catherine (VO)
Kente can be made by anyone between a child and someone of very mature age. Here, young men in the village of Bonwire produce strips of relatively simple design. This is the start of a long road that could lead to being a master weaver, who is able to weave the most complex patterns.
Weaving can carry high status. For example, Okyeame Yeboah is the linguist or spokesman of the Chief of Bonwire. Such a weaver could be put in charge of a weaving shed, where young people are being trained, including women for the first time.
Okyeame PTC
Our forefathers didn’t allow women to weave. They believed it would prevent them from having children.
Also if both husband and wife wove their marriage wouldn’t work out.
So they weren’t allowed to weave.
The project was initiated seven years ago by Anglican Missionaries.
Atta Kwami - artist
How has working here affected your domestic work?
Serwah Akoto - trainee weaver
When I finish at 2 I go home and prepare the food.
Atta Kwami - artist
Do you live alone?
Serwah Akoto - trainee weaver
I live with my mum.
Atta Kwami - artist
What about your Dad?
Serwah Akoto - trainee weaver
He also lives in the village.
Catherine (VO)
This is the compound of master weaver Akwasi Akwaboah in the village of Bonwire.
He works with his family for himself.
Atta Kwami - artist
What qualities do you need to become, to be a master weaver? Is it something you are born with or can you learn?
Serwah Akoto - trainee weaver
You learn, you also have to have nice designs, to be fast, honest with your customers and reliable otherwise they won’t return. So there are many qualities before you become a good weaver. People who know the business know who the best weaver is. It’s like a driver who knows who the best driver is. That is why the people in this village say that I am the best even though I do not call myself that.
Catherine (VO)
Akwasi Akwaboah is weaving the most prestigious Kente cloth, known as Adwenisi - Adweniso. It means all design motifs are used up and requires consummate skill.
End transcript: Who Makes Kente?
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