Kente is unquestionably Africa’s most popular fabric, with millions of people wearing it across the continent. While many people believe it originated in Ghana, few people, even Ghanaians, are aware of the actual town or hamlet where it originated.
If you’ve ever been curious in the exact origins of Ghana’s most famous and oldest cloth, you’ve come to the correct place.
Kente is said to have originated in the Ashanti Region’s Ejisu-Juaben Municipal District, near the little township of Bonwire.
The town, which has a population of roughly 11,000 people, became famous for its commercial Kente production. Unlike most Ghanaian towns, where the majority of the working population is engaged in farming or fishing, Kente weaving is the most prevalent occupation in the Bonwire Township, with practically all of the working-age males engaged in the art. Bonwire Kente Village is one of the top tourist destinations in Ghana.
This has also made Bonwire a popular tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world who come to Ghana on a regular basis to see how the country’s famous traditional cloth is weaved.
History Of Kente
Kente’s first recorded history comes from the 17th century AD, at the height of the Ashanti Kingdom. However, some historians date the origins of the cloth to 3000 BC, a time when African history was unknown.
These historians believe that weaving began in Africa around that time period, and that the Ashanti Kingdom learned and improved upon the weaving of Kente from there. To make matters more confusing, much of Kente’s history is based on legends and unsubstantiated myths rather than well-researched and proven historical texts. For example, according to one tradition, a man named Ota Karaban from the town of Bonwire learned the craft of kente weaving from a spider swinging its web. He then wove cloth using the same way he learned from the spider, and when it worked, he told Bonwire’s chief about it. After witnessing the exquisite piece of cloth, the Chief informed the King of the entire kingdom, the Asantehene, who embraced it and designated it the traditional and royal cloth of the entire Ashanti Kingdom.
While such tales cannot be proven, they have survived the test of time and have been passed down from generation to generation.
Bonwire, located 18 kilometres off the Mampong-Kumasi road, is a popular tourist attraction where visitors may learn more about how this lovely traditional material is made.
Bonwire Kente And Prices
Bonwire Kente village don’t have a fix price. Every center and how they sell their Kente. It is best to ask the make and also ask for reduction of price. It can be little before expensive so be ready.
Ghana Travel Restrictions
Ghana is open to most travelers again. I mean travelers from all over the world. However, you do need proof of your COVID-19 vaccination(s) or a negative test result before being allowed entry.
Many hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health & safety protocols in place, and you still have to follow certain guidelines. They are all good for our safety.
Read the ultimate travel guide to Ghana to help you plan your trip.