17th century

The ashanti

The Ashanti empire, originating from Ghana, are a powerful and culturally-rich ethnic group known for their military prowess, intricate artistry, and deep spiritual beliefs. Their enduring heritage, encapsulated in the iconic Kente cloth and the sacred Golden Stool, is a testament to their unity, resilience, and reverence for tradition.

18th century

Kente Cloth becomes a symbol of wealth and status among the Ashanti people.

Kente Weaver on Adum Street in Kumasi

Kente cloth, is a craft mastered over time. Weavers apprentice for a rigorous five-year period, honing their skills under the watchful eye of seasoned masters. Only upon perfecting this ancient art, can they start weaving their own Kente, continuing the tradition of excellence that defines craftsmanship.

Asantehene (Ashanti king) Prempeh II – 1938

Yaa Asantewaa was a queen mother of the Ashanti Empire. She is famously known for leading the Ashanti rebellion against British colonialism during the War of the Golden Stool (also known as the Yaa Asantewaa War) in 1900 – Painting by Richard Mensah


Kente Cloth becomes a global symbol of African identity.

Kwame Nkrumah, a visionary leader and a key figure in Ghana’s fight for independence from British colonial rule, becoming the country’s first Prime Minister and later President.
– 1957

Kente cloth’s popularity surged in the 1960s, propelled by black nationalists, their supporters, and high-profile figures like Muhammad Ali, who championed Kente during his 1964 Ghana visit.


Kente Cloth gains more popularity outside of Africa, becoming more prevalent in global fashion trends.

Enjoy The Sun In Cool, Comfortable Fasion by Audrey Smaltz – Ebony magazine, April 1975

Embodied on the 1979 20 cedis banknote is the figure of a Kente weaver, a master of artistry and tradition.


Kente Cloth is represented in shows and becomes a symbol of African fashion.

The first ladies of Hip-Hop: Salt ‘N’ Pepa wearing hats with Kente – 1987

Laurence Fishburne wearing Kente in the movie School Daze – 1988


Kente Cloth is used in modern fashion designs and is worn by the biggest celebrities.

Michael Jackson graced the cover wrapped in Kente – Ebony magazine, May 1992

Director Spike Lee wearing a Kente colbert with Denzel Washinton and Cynda Williams on the cover – Ebony magazine, September 1990


Kente cloth transcends fashion, recognised as a work of art and exhibited in museums worldwide.


Kente Cloth continues to be a symbol of African identity and is worn by people all over the world.


Uncover the extraordinary creativity of fashion designers from the heart of Africa. Leave your e-mail for exclusive insights and updates.