This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Nuts and Bolts: kente cloth.

These people are wearing kente cloth:

Parure et mode africaine famille akan.jpg
Photo by Kassoum kone 1 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Kente was originally the sacred cloth of the Ashanti kings of what is now South Ghana. It's worn more widely, now, but it's still held in great esteem.

It speaks a language according to its colours and patterns.

Black stands for maturity, Africa, and intense spiritual energy; green for the forest, growth and spiritual renewal; gold for glory and spiritual purity. Blue is for peace and love, grey and maroon signify healing, pink and purple are feminine, red is for sacrifice and blood, silver for serenity, yellow for wealth and beauty, and white for purity.

Fascinatingly universal, many of those associations, aren't they.

As for the patterns of kente cloth, they include Sika Fre Mogya, which represents the responsibility to share wealth with one's relations. Puduomma stands for 'you must practise patience in everything you do'.

I find myself wondering what patterns we'd choose to wear if we in the West had a similar system. 

I doubt it would be either Puduomma or Sika Fre Mogya.

Word to Use Today: kente. This word comes from the Ashanti word kenten, which means basket, though the Ashanti themselves call it nwentoma, which means woven cloth.

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