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Color and Symbols in African Clothing

Posted on March 03 2015

Africa is a rich continent filled with authenticity in nature which reflects our clothing and fabric. With every piece of fabric, its artistry carries a story that reflects the memories of its people which Africans take pride in. A major example is the traditional Ghanaian Kente cloth which has a combination of vibrant colors strategically structured as a repetitive pattern across the yard. This fabric is only worn during special occasions for example, weddings, birthdays or engagements. 'Ohema Ohene' meaning ‘Queen & King’ of a particular region would have an exclusive kente cloth sewn for hum only which no one can wear or even buy. This represents the quality in the fabric and its exclusiveness. The colors on African fabric are often reflective of the country’s flag colors such as in the Ghana flag - the Red represents the bloodshed to gain Independence, the Gold meaning the mineral wealth and the Green symbolizes the natural wealth. These three colors are evident in Kente fabrics which create the connotation of coming out victorious. Adinkra symbols are the representations of concepts used regularly in fabric and also in pottery. They are big assets of Ghana. A famous example is the 'Gye Nyame' which means 'except for God' which is used as an anchor for Ghana and has become a famous mark in Ghanaian fashion.

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