Ghana Life

Understanding Ghana
09 June 2017

Kente: Historical Fact

The Kente cloth is usually associated with the Ashantis but did they invent it? The Ewe people, especially those from Agortime-Kpetoe of Ghana claim that Kente which they call Agbamevor has always been their traditional cloth. According to history, they migrated from Egypt through Nigeria to their current location in Ghana with their skilled textile weavers. During the wars with the Ashantis, captured Ewe artisans were asked by their Ashanti captors to teach them how to weave the Agbamevor textiles; the Ewe kente experts instructed them to “Ke” meaning spread or open in the Ewe language, pass the waft through, and “Te” meaning tighten or press also in Ewe. For that reason, the Ewes believe that the name Kete originates from the method used to weave the textile which is also the same name that has been corrupted into kente.


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