white and indigo ground; blocks of indigo stripes, bars and plaids; some geometric designs; 25 strips sewn together

Man's cloth, 20th century

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Kente cloth is believed to have originated in Ghana in the mid-17th century. The first cloths were made of locally produced cotton and embellished with simple patterns of stripes and designs of indigo-dyed thread on a white ground. This piece, although more elaborate than the earliest cloths, is representative of the most traditional and enduring styles.

Both Ewe and Asante weavers produce this type of cloth in the old style. This piece is most likely to be Asante in origin, based on the geometric adwen (designs) and the use of the Akyem (shield) motif in the border and in the blocks of patterning. Two of the strips are noticeably shorter than the others; the weaver probably lost track of the pattern progression, as the shortage is equivalent to one full susudua (design block).

Details
Title
Man's cloth
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2005.134.16
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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white and indigo ground; blocks of indigo stripes, bars and plaids; some geometric designs; 25 strips sewn together