My Kente Quilt

 In Ghana

I’ve wanted to buy a kente quilt [read: blankey] ever since coming to Ghana, but have held off due to the high cost of  the fabric and not knowing who to buy from. But last week at Tafi Abuife the kente was plentiful, the price was right, the stars were aligned, and I just couldn’t resist.

The following patterns, passed down through multiple generations, were selected for my quilt. Despite appearing simplistic, each of these abstract designs take 5-9 hours to complete a two yard strip. Altogether, the nine strips of kente I chose took a whopping 62 hours to weave.

Steps (Togbe) :

Birds (Afala) :

Hills & Sugarcane (Eto) :

Our People’s Footpath (Mat) :

Life’s Direction (Mor) :

Unity (Ashe) :

Unity #2 (Dekaworwor) :

After paying Aikins for the cloth, we rode motorcycle taxis over to a well-named tailoring shop in a neighboring village. Mary, an extremely nice seamstress, began sewing the kente cloth together strip by strip.  Earlier that day, I had carefully arranged the kente strips to make an evenly laid out design with a very diversified color scheme. It was a very nice layout, but I forgot to tell this to Mary. She stitched the strips together according to what she thought would look good, which I was completely okay with. After all, she’s the expert! After 45 minutes, Mary finished sewing my quilt without breaking a sweat [or removing her hair curlers]. The end product looks decidedly more original and ‘African’ than the almost symmetrical layout I had planned, and I am glad that I ‘let’ a Ghanaian arrange the kente design. Special thank you to Chris & Aikins for introducing me to their wonderful village.

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Showing 9 comments
  • Debbie Doyle (NCWA)
    Reply

    What a great purchase! You’ll have it for the rest of your life. Enjoy. Debbie Doyle

  • Michael
    Reply

    Great Taste! Wonderful memory. Thanks for keep us posted on your exciting life experiences.

    All the best,

    Michael & Dana

  • Mama
    Reply

    I want a Kente blankey too!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Louise Segura
    Reply

    I am so jealous! What an amazing quilt to remind you of Ghana and your personal journey!

  • Umar
    Reply

    Impressive

  • Aisha
    Reply

    Am jealous of your kente cloth and all the exciting places you guys have been visiting. Aisha

  • Liz
    Reply

    I love the photos, not only of the beautiful fabrics, but of Mary, you, and your friend in the green shirt. You described this experience so well, I felt like I was there. Can’t wait to see you and blankie!

  • Emma
    Reply

    That’s beautiful!

  • Lorenda Esi Parker
    Reply

    This is lovely Avery. Only remember that Kente is a symbol of richness and pride for Ghanaians, especially the Asantis. Treasure it. Really proud of you.

    p.s. let’s all meet one last time before you leave.

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