The Ghanaian Kente cloth: colorful, patterns and symbolism

Almost every Ghanaian has a garment of kente cloth. The kente fabric is made of inter-woven silk fabric. Although you might now know the name, the kente cloth is used globally. The kente cloth is made in different styles, colors and patterns. Every design has its own meaning.

Meaning of the word Kente

The word ‘kente’ means ‘basket’. The word kente comes from the Akan or Ashanti people. Because of the manner in which the fabric is woven, the pattern of the fabric is similar to a basket, hence kente.

Meaning of the colors used in the Kente

  • Black represents Africa
  • Red represents the blood of forefathers
  • Yellow represents gold
  • Green represents the forest

Patterns of the Kente cloth and their meaning

Afa

Afa means ‘I have taken it’.

Ohene Anewa

The king’s eye, The king sees everything

Nkyimkyim

Zigzag, Life is not a straight path

Fatene

Fatene means ‘You go straight away to Agyeman’.

Niata

Niata means ‘Two-edged sword’.

Trom Nwoma

Trom Mwoma means ‘Droughts, Smooth weave’.

Kwadum Asa

Kwadum Asa means ‘Empty gun powder keg’.

Source: csdt.rpi.edu