Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity

Where Kente Is Woven
The Asante are the most populous and best known of the Akan (Twi-speaking) peoples of Ghana. They occupy a significant portion of south central Ghana, an area of once-dense tropical rainforest. While Akan oral traditions refer to migrations from the north, there is some consensus that the Asante Empire was a consolidation of several related but smaller states moving from more southerly areas. The Asante today are organized into a confederation of states, each headed by a paramount chief and each subordinate to the Asantehene, or king.

The Ewe living in southeastern Ghana trace their origins to the east, in southern Togo and Benin, where substantial populations of Ewe live today. Eweland is composed of several autonomous states without a strong central authority.

From Strips to Cloth   

Wrapped in Pride explores the history of traditional Ghanaian weaving and its impact on cultures beyond Africa's shores. A collaboration between the National Museum of African Art and the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, the exhibition is installed in two locations--the National Museum of African Art and the Arts & Industries Building (through the garden to the east of African Art).

African Art's installation focuses on the art and symbolism of kente in the Asante and Ewe cultures of Africa. The Anacostia presentation in the Arts & Industries Building explores kente as meaningful expressions of dress, art and identity in African American communities.

Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity is a collaborative exhibition organized by the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History and The Newark Museum, Newark, N.J.

The exhibition and its national tour are made possible by Ford Motor Company.

The exhibition has also received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to expanding American understanding of history and culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Getty Grant Program for the publication; and from foundations, corporations and individuals.

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