Originated by the Akan peoples of Ghana, colorful kente cloth is the best-known of all African textiles. Kente cloth is woven in strips, which is how it came by its name (kente means basket in the Ashanti dialect) . Ghana's Rachel Armah creates this colorful cotton blend scarf in cheerful shades of purple, green and yellow. She names her design nyiraba, which means blessed child in the Akan dialect. In kente cloth, each color has a symbolic meaning: black symbolizes maturation and intensified spiritual energy; blue signifies peacefulness, harmony and love; green symbolizes vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, and spiritual renewal; gold represents royalty, wealth, high status, glory, and spiritual purity; grey is for healing and cleansing rituals; maroon signifies the color of mother earth, associated with healing; pink and purple are associated with the female essence and female aspects of life; red symbolizes political and spiritual moods, bloodshed, sacrificial rites and death; silver is associated with the moon and represents serenity, purity, and joy; white is for purification, sanctification rites and festive occasions; and yellow represents preciousness, royalty, wealth, fertility, and beauty.
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