Man’s prestige wrapper

CULTURE:
Asante peoples
DATE:
c. 1920-1930s
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.

Silk kente with named designs continue to be limited to Asante elites. The twenty-four strips sewn into this kente contain a composite design created from two others—Oyokoman and Asonawa. The first of these, Oyokoman (derived from the Oyoko royal clan), is identifiable from the wide gold and green stripes embedded in a dark red field extending the length (warp) of each strip. The meaning of the second, a weft pattern (crossing the width of each strip), is unknown.

Adapted from

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