African Culture is World Heritage

Swahili African Proverb

Kente Cloth Color Meanings

African people are creative creating fabrics with color and meaning. Kente cloth has a long history of unique cultural elegance valued around the world over. 


Kente Cloth Color Meanings
Kente Cloth Color Meanings 

Kente Cloth Color Meanings Explained


The making and trading of cloth have been vital elements in African culture. The first colorful kente cloth was worn by Otumfuo Nana Prempeh I, a former Ashanti king.

African textiles unspoken language often provides a way of suggesting thoughts and feelings that may not or cannot be expressed in other ways and these cloths regularly move between the kingdoms of the earthly and the revered.

Traditional Kente Cloth was black and white, however, the colors of black, red, gold and green modern kente cloth symbolize:


⚞ Black represents Africa

⚞ Red represents the blood of ancestors

⚞ Gold represents wealth

⚞ Green represents the land


Folklore Origins of Kente Cloth


Origins of kente cloth told by Bonwire villagers is the story of a man named Ota Karaban, friend, Kwaku from Bonwire had their weaving lessons from a spider that was weaving its web, and from the spiders lessons they weaved beautiful raffia fabric for the village.
Modern Kente cloth
According to legend, Kurugu and Ameyaw, two brothers from the Bonwire village, went hunting one afternoon and came across a spider spinning a web. 

They were amazed by the beauty of the web and thought that they could create something like it. Upon returning home, they made the first cloth out of black and white fibers from a raffia tree.

A second legend of the origins of kente cloth told by Bonwire villagers is the story of a man named Ota Karaban, friend, Kwaku from Bonwire had their weaving lessons from a spider that was weaving its web, and from the spider's lessons they weaved beautiful raffia fabric for the village. 

The Ashanti people of Ghana and the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo make the African cloth kente. Kente cloth is the most recognizable of all African textiles. Kente cloth originated with the Ashanti people of Ghana dating back 375 years in the village of Bonwire.

Kente Cloth did you know?

Traditional Kente Cloth is black and white, adding color to Kente cloth is a modern aesthetic creation.


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