As we begin our celebrations of Black History Month, we at D’IYANU would like to kick-off the month of February by discussing the origins of kente cloth. Kente today is seen as a staple cloth in African print fashion and used to express one’s roots. We have many clothes offered on our site that utilize kente print in a way that is meant to be empowering while fashionable.
Kente cloth is native to the Akan ethnic group from Ghana. This vibrant cloth rose in popularity when the Asante Empire decided that only royals could wear kente. The use of the print was limited to social and special occasions. The word kente means “basket” in the Akan language. It is produced from a technique called strip weaving, which has existed in West Africa since the 11th century.
A legend told by the Asante people is that two men learned the art of weaving from a spider. They observed a spider named Ananse, weave unique designs. For a few favors, the spider taught the men how to weave designs with a single thread. They used this technique to create kente cloth.
In our Black History Month Collection, we have several pieces that include kente print. Each color in kente print has a special meaning to it. The meanings of the colors are what sets the kente apart from regular clothing and give it a deeper purpose.
For women, we have a Nyah Skirt and a Bahati Dress that are fabricated with gold and red kente. Gold is the symbol of royalty, wealth and spiritual purity, and red symbolizes the blood of our ancestors. These two powerful colors are telling an incredible story.
We also offer a Bomani Long Sleeve Shirt with a gold and red kente color block. This fashionable shirt for men is the perfect way to express pride for your heritage and history while looking dope. Let your clothes do the talking for Black History Month by incorporating some kente looks into your wardrobe.
Today, the cloth has entered modern African print fashion and instills a feeling of empowerment in all who wear it. We will continue to produce clothing that includes kente print and we will always remember the history behind this bold and vibrant cloth.
Check out our African Kente Prints and more in the D'IYANU Black History Month Collection!