Black Panther is still on our minds and timelines, but guess what? There were distinct fashion references, especially kente fabric from Ashanti culture. The 2018 American superhero film really put wide smiles in our hearts – no surprise, then, that contemporary weddings keep embracing Ashanti fashion styles
When it comes to kente, the loom is made in such a way that different coloured threads laced through it can be woven in layers and patterns similar to how a spider makes its web. Four-inch (10-cm) strips are bound together into larger pieces of brilliantly intricate designs which the Ashanti and Ewes of Ghana have associated with royalty over the years. Traditionally, stories, proverbs and philosophies are attached to magnify what the designs can embody over generations – kente’s significant socio-economic and prominent cultural role has spread far and wide. Adinkra symbols can also be seen stenciled on, to add depth and context.
Bride's Kente Kaba and Slit Matches Groom's Kente Ntoma | Courtesy of Leroy Oteng
Colours and codes
The colours of kente carry significance: blue denotes harmony, balance and space; green means growth and rebirth; yellow/gold means financial, spiritual or intellectual wealth and royalty; grey means healing and cleansing, black means spiritual elevation and maturation; pink is essence of life; white is plain; red stands for political stance or mood of the people; brown is earthly, and silver stands for serenity. Shapes in the form of square, triangle, diamond, circle and cross in kente depict cosmos and procreation, span of life, duality, eternity and the cardinal points respectively.
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