The origin of Kente and Madras

These classic fabrics have huge cultural significance and we love to see it! 
Madras
  • Originated in Madras (now Chennai), India.
  • Originally made from an ancient tree and used vegetables as dyes.
  • Widely used throughout North Africa and the West Indies.
  • Was one of the few ways enslaved people on the islands could express themselves during colonization.
  • National dress of Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, and Guadaloupe.
  • Used as a symbol for national and cultural pride. 

 

Kente

  • Originated in Ghana.
  • Ashanti legend says that the art of weaving Kente came from the spider, Ananse.
  • It was originally worn by royalty, but became more common in other regions.
  • It is a powerful visual representation of the history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, religious belief, social values, and political thought of West Africa
  • Each pattern and piece has a name that tells a story.
  • Ghanians choose Kente for their names as often as for their patterns.

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