Textiles in Ghana
Textiles in Ghana

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Textiles in Ghana

5 History

5.1 History of kente

Activity 17

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

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Transcript: What is the history of Kente?

Kentehene
It was my forefathers who started it.
Catherine (V0)
How do the makers of Kente see their own history? The chief of the weavers at Bonwire, the Kentehene, tells the story of Kente.
Kentehene
There is a place ‘Ahwua Kesie’, where my ancestors went to hunt. One day, the elder saw a spider’s web, he called out to his brother - ‘Ame Yaw, Ame Yawa, come and see what this animal has done!’ So they stood and stared at it for some time. Every time they returned they noticed that the web had changed. They observed over a period of about 3 to 4 years and finally decided they, too, would practise this gift that God had given the spider. CUs weaving
Catherine (VO)
Archaeological evidence from tomb excavations indicates the presence of narrow, strip-weaving in the 11th century. But the technique for making patterned strips seems to date from the 16th or 17th centuries. Around 1730, Danish traders record the unravelling of imported silk to use in weaving.
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