Royal man’s wrapper

CULTURE:
Asante peoples
DATE:
c. 1900
more object details

General Description

Kente is the best known and most popular of the Asante textiles. Oral traditions credit a spider’s web-making with having inspired two hunters to create the first kente. Osei Tutu I, the first king of the Asante, reserved the cloth for royals. Over time, with greater varieties of colors and materials, kente became accessible to more of the population.

This cloth, originally made for a male royal, is in superb condition despite its advanced age. Its twenty-five strips feature a variety of weft-faced patterns (extending the width of each strip). Its name refers to two rival clans in the royal matrilineage, the Oyoko and the Dako, who fought a civil war in the early 18th century.

Adapted from

  • Roslyn Walker, The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana, Label text, 2018.