- wide cloth, which is draped around their bodies and worn on one shoulder,
Men wear a 2
while women wear combinations of five to 12 strips as skirts or dresses.
Kente’s woven patterns include dozens of geometric themes combined in creative ways. The patterns have meanings, from alternating lozenge shapes that represent the king’s eye, to zigzags that mean “life is not a straight path.” Larger symbols include the Golden Stool, a symbol of absolute power, and purple and gold ribbons that stand for “your heart’s desire.” More than 10 colors are currently used in kente, and the meanings of patterns and geometric themes range from healing and harmony to love and good fortune. Kente cloth continues to be woven on a strip loom, producing a narrow band of cloth. Kente weavers are primarily men. The bands of cloth are arranged and sewn together to create larger items of clothing. Men and women wear traditional kente cloth differently. Men usually wear a 24-strip-wide cloth, which is draped around the body and worn on one shoulder. Women wear combinations of five to 12 strips as skirts or dresses. The designs and patterns of kente cloth are known world- wide, and the fabric has been used in fashion design since the “kente revolution” of the 1980s and 1990s.
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