Kente is a textile originating from Ghana west Africa. It is made of handwoven cloth, strips of silk and cotton. Historically it was worn by royalty among ethnic groups such as the Ashantis. Nowadays the wearing of kente has become widespread in Ghana. It is worn to commemorate special occasions such as weddings, naming ceremonies etc. Kente is now popular Globally and it is mostly used as the design of academic stoles in graduation ceremonies in different countries.

Kente stole being worn by students graduating


A man weaving kente

Kente comes from the word Kenten which means "basket" in Twi of the Akan Language due to its basket-like pattern. In Ghana it also referred to as Nwentoma which means "woven cloth" among the Ashanti people. According to Ashanti Folklore weavers created Kente by looking at how Anansi the Spider made his web.

Meanings of the Kente Colors

Since the 1970s kente stoles have being more like a rites of passage among black students especially those in the United states. The plan to wear kente stoles during graduations started during the Pan African Movement in the 1950s. Black Students outside Africa wear these kente stoles during graduation as honor to their ancestral heritage and to show their pride in their African culture.

Kente being worn by former President of the United States Bill Clinton and His Wife Hilary Clinton

Kente being worn by the late Pop Icon Michael Jackson.

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