With the door at your doorstep,all that Ghana Net seeks to achieve and to do is to promote Ghana to the outside world.With this quest in mind let’s have a look at some of the “PROUDLY” made in Ghana goods with emphasis on proudly because anything at all can be made in Ghana and we cannot talk about all of them but the few monumental ones that is taking Ghana to the outside world and standing out as proudly Ghanaian is what we are about to throw more light on.
Kente cloth has its origin with the Ashanti Kingdom, and was adopted by people in Ivory Coast and many other West African counties. It is an Akan royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance and was the cloth of kings. Over time, the use of kente became more widespread. However, its importance has remained and it is held in high esteem with Akans.
Kente is predominantly made in Akan lands such as Ashanti Kingdom, (Bonwire,Adanwomase, Wonoo in the Kwabre areas of the Ashanti Region) and among Akans. Kente is also produced by Akans in Ivory Coast. Lastly, Kente is worn by many other groups who have been influenced by Akans. It is the best known of all African textiles. Kente comes from the word kenten, which means basket in Akan dialect Asante. Akans refer to kente as nwentoma, meaning woven cloth.
The icon of African cultural heritage around the world, Akan kente is identified by its dazzling, multicolored patterns of bright colors, geometric shapes, and bold designs. Kente characterized by weft designs woven into every available block of plain weave is called adweneasa. The Akan people choose kente cloths as much for their names as their colors and patterns. Although the cloths are identified primarily by the patterns found in the lengthwise (warp) threads, there is often little correlation between appearance and name. Names are derived from several sources, including proverbs, historical events, important chiefs, queen mothers, and plants.
Meanings of the colors in Kente cloth:
- black—maturation, intensified spiritual energy
- blue—peacefulness, harmony and love
- green—vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal
- gold—royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity
- grey—healing and cleansing rituals; associated with ash
- maroon—the color of mother earth; associated with healing
- pink—assoc. with the female essence of life; a mild, gentle aspect of red
- purple—assoc. with feminine aspects of life; usually worn by women
- red—political and spiritual moods; bloodshed; sacrificial rites and death.
- silver—serenity, purity, joy; assoc. with the moon
- white—purification, sanctification rites and festive occasions
- yellow—preciousness, royalty, wealth, fertility, beauty
A variety of kente patterns have been invented, each of which has a certain concept or concepts traditionally associated with it. For example, the Obaakofoo Mmu Man pattern symbolizes democratic rule; Emaa Da, novel creativity and knowledge from experience; and Sika Fre Mogya, responsibility to share monetary success with one’s relations.
Legend has it that kente was first made by two Akan friends who went hunting in an Asanteman forest and found a spider making its web. The friends stood and watched the spider for two days then returned home and implemented what they had seen. West Africa has had a cloth weaving culture for centuries via the stripweave method, but Akan history tells of the cloth being created independent of outsider influence.
A Ghanaian smock is a plaid shirt that is similar to the dashiki, worn by men in Ghana. The smock is also called a fugu or a batakari. The smock originated in the northern region of Ghana , see external links for photos.
The smock is made of handloomed strips of Kente fabric that are three to four inches in width. The strips are sewn together by hand or machine giving the smock a plaid appearance. Most smocks have embroidery on the neckline. The smock is worn with a kufi cap. However, chiefs in Ghana wear the smock with a red fez hat.This cloth is very prevalent in the Northern part of Ghana among the indigenous tribes and the muslim groups.