R6077 Textile; Kente

blue, white, red and yellow kente cloth

Kente (Museum Accession number R6077)

This narrow strip woven kente cloth was created by Ewe weaver Bokorkpo Yawo in 1957. It is usually difficult to find well provenanced older cloths, but fortunately the owner, Dometi Delali, supplied the museum with a detailed history. The age is also of significance as it was created the year Ghana gained independence from British colonial rule, and kente cloth became increasing popular as a celebration and symbol of Ghanaian culture. This is a smaller woman’s cloth and the design is called Gabati or ‘steel bed’. The cloth contains numerous designs and motifs relating to the female gender and they were worn at thanksgiving ceremonies after the birth of a child. The practice of kente was originated by the Ewe and Asante people in Ghana. Collected in Ghana as part of the Fashioning Africa project.

Creator: Bokorkpo Yawo

Place: Awoma, Jasikan District, Volta Region, Ghana, West Africa, Africa

Date: 1957