Handmade Kente Cloth, "Royal Checks"
This item is available for backorder and will ship within 2 to 8 weeks. Read more
This item is available for pre-order and will ship within 2 to 8 weeks. Read more
Designed by a fisherman around 1898, this intricate kente cloth pattern is inspired by beach pebbles. The tiny blocks of pattern represent the thoughts of that ancestral craftsman. Kpekui states a proverbial refrain: "pebbles of the shore are hard to crack." Handcrafted by the Gobah Tengey-Seddoh Family, this extraordinary double weave textile is one of the most difficult patterns to achieve.
Each strip requires considerable effort, and the looms are worked with both hands and feet. Strips are generally three to four inches wide and seven to ten feet long, and the length of time it takes to complete one strip varies by the complexity of the chosen pattern. The simplest use mostly vertical, or warp patterns, and an experienced weaver can make several of those in one day. But patterns with nearly all weft (horizontal thread) patterns, where the warp design is hardly visible, can take up to four days to complete an individual strip. Each color has its own meanings in Asante culture. Green is fertility and new harvest, gold is royalty, black is strength, aging, and spirituality, while white is purity. The patterns themselves are carefully chosen symbols, which a master weaver develops and names, often to honor people, historical events, or proverbs.
This artist is an elder master and continues to actively practice their craft.
Gobah Tengey-Seddoh has received 4 microcredit loans with 0% interest from Kiva and Novica, the first for $300 and the most recent for $400. Proceeds were used to invest in the purchase of larger amounts of cotton yarn, for increasing production.