Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kente Cloth

Our tour during Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference took us to our first stop at Brazos Valley Museum to an exhibit of Kente Cloth.  Wrapped in Pride, Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity was a feature the Museum of Natural History and presented in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts.
This beautiful exhibit explores the art of making Kente cloth, its symbolism in the cultures of Africa and its expression of identity in African American communities.  This garment was displayed in the main lobby.
Photos from the region were also on display to show how the garments are worn in everyday life.
This fabric was machine printed and shows some of the different designs woven.
This fabric was woven with design, using inlay techniques.
The strips are woven in narrow bands and then shown together to make a larger length and width.
These bands were unique in design.
Inlay designs give different meanings to each region.
The African map shows the location of Ghana.
Color plentiful!
A typical loom used to weave this colorful cloth.
Weft bobbin threads used in crossing the warp.
The warp is placed at the back of the loom and this photo shows how the warp is given weight and tension.
Close-up of inlay technique.
Notice how the narrow bands are stitched.
The narrow bands on display were used for touch and feel.  They also show the different patterns.  The weft and warp designs each have their own unique meaning.
This exhibit will be on display till August 11, 2011 and is well worth the trip to the Natural History Museum.

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