The Kente Cloth. Its origins date back to 12th century Africa, in the country of Ghana, where it is primarily produced. The Kente Cloth was worn by Kings, Queens, and important figures of state in Ghana's society, during ceremonial events and special occasions. Truly, it was a symbol of valor and honor.
Kente cloth received its name from the term “kenten,” which means “basket,” because of the cloth’s resemblance to the woven design of a basket. Kente is a colorful, handwoven cloth woven in strips of about four inches wide on a traditional wooden loom. The strips are usually around 72 inches long and around 24 of the strips are hand sown together to make a full cloth of Kente. The weaver who creates a new design can assign names and significance to his designs.
Even today, each Kente Cloth is handmade and is unique in its design and meaning. No two are exactly alike. It is a work of art, portraying the history, philosophy, ethics, and moral values in African culture. It is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, moral values, social code of conduct, religious beliefs, political thought and aesthetic principles.
The Kente Cloth is bestowed upon outstanding individuals who have attained milestones in their lives. The cloth is ceremoniously draped upon the shoulders of those who have shown their worth to family, community and God… a servant leader.
The colors of this cloth have deep rooted traditional meanings which reflect the attributes of the wearer:
Maroon – the Kente Cloth’s primary shade is the Campbellsville University color and the traditional color of mother earth. It is associated with healing.
Blue – which stands for peacefulness, harmony and love.
Gold – the sign of royalty, high status, glory, spiritual purity.
White – which represents purification and sanctification.