No fabric is more associated with Africa than the vibrant colors of kente cloth. This fabric is instantly identifiable to African culture, and therefore is a big hit during Black History Month. Native to the country of Ghana, kente cloth has a strong spiritual value. It is a royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance in Africa.
Kente is called 'the cloth of kings' and over time the use of kente cloth has become more widespread. Kente cloth is easily identified by its dazzling, multicolored patterns of lush colors, geometric shapes, and bold designs. Each color also has a symbolic meaning:
Black - Maturation, intensified spiritual energy
Blue - Peacefulness, harmony and love
Green - Vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal
Gold - Royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity
Grey - Healing and cleansing rituals; associated with ash
Maroon - Mother earth; associated with healing
Pink - Feminine aspects of life; a mild, gentle aspect of red
Purple - Feminine aspects of life; usually worn by women
Red - Political and spiritual moods; bloodshed, sacrificial rites and death
Silver - Serenity, purity, joy; associated with the moon
White - Purification, sanctification rites and festive occasions
Yellow - Preciousness, royalty, wealth, and fertility
African legend has it that kente was first made by two friends who went hunting in a forest and found a spider making its web. The friends watched the spider for two days then returned home and implemented what they had seen.