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Who Brought Kente To Ghana?: Ewes Or Ashantis?

The question of whether Ashantis or Ewes brought kente to Ghana is one debatable and arguable one. Anytime such a question is raised, many opinions are brought on board. While a section of people say it is the Ashantis, others say it is the Ewes instead.

In this article, we are going to look at the two sides of the story and see which people actually brought kente to Ghana.

Kente is one of the most outstanding, most expensive and most cherished fabrics many people know. It is one of the fabrics that are own to various important occasions such as durbars, weddings, parties, naming ceremony, graduations, and the likes.

The origins of the kente cloth dates back 400 years to modern day Ghana. While its invention is often attributed to the people of the Ashanti tribe, it is alleged that the kente cloth was invented by the Ewes, who later shared the tradition with the Ashantis.

In the Ewe language, the syllables “ke na te”, describe the action of weaving kente cloth, with “ke” translating to “open” and “te” translating to “press”. The Ashanti people, in their native Akan and Ashanti dialects, instead refer to kente cloth as “nwentoma”.

Looking at it from the angle of the Ashantis, the origin of kente cloth is said to be traced to two farmers from Bonwire village. History has it that, these two farmers went hunting and came across a spider (Ananse) spinning a web. Startled by what they had seen, the two men went home and demonstrated what they had seen. They wove a cloth out of black and white fibres from a raffia tree which they later presented to Asantehene Nana Osei Tutu I.

The question is; who invented kente cloth in Ghana or which people brought kente to Ghana? Is it the Ewes or the Ashantis? Kindly share your thoughts.

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Ashantis Ewes Ghana Kente


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