Make Your Own Kente Cloth

What You Need:

  • White paper
  • Markers
  • Samples of kente cloth from the Internet or local library
  • Scissors
  • Piece of poster board, 13” x 12”
  • Craft glue

What You Do:

  1. Go to the library or use the computer to search for samples of what various kente cloth designs look like. Have your child select one to use for this project.
  2. Talk with your child about the significance of kente cloths, including how they are made and what the different colors on a kente cloth symbolize (see below).
  3. On the paper, help your child measure and mark four 3” x 11” strips. Have them cut along the lines.
  4. Now there are four strips of paper on which to create their kente design.
  5. Have your child trace the design of the kente cloth that they have chosen.
  6. If your child needs assistance with the geometric patterns, first draw the outline in pencil and then ask your child to trace the lines in marker and color them in to match the sample cloth they have chosen.
  7. Once your child has colored all four sheets, ask them to glue them onto the poster board, leaving a two-inch border at the top. Within that border, your child can write their name and title it “My Kente Cloth.”
Symbolic Meanings of the Colors in Kente Cloth:
  • Black – maturation, intensified spiritual energy
  • Blue – peacefulness, harmony and love
  • Green – vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal
  • Gold – royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity
  • Grey – healing and cleansing rituals; associated with ash
  • Maroon – the color of mother earth; associated with healing
  • Pink – associated with the female essence of life; a mild, gentle aspect of red
  • Purple – associated with feminine aspects of life; usually worn by women
  • Red – political and spiritual moods; bloodshed; sacrificial rites and death.
  • Silver – serenity, purity, joy; associated with the moon
  • White – purification, sanctification rites and festive occasions
  • Yellow – preciousness, royalty, wealth, fertility

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