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Kente Weaving TRAILER For decade

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					Kente Weaving


TRAILER
For decades, Kente has preserved an integral part of Ghanaian culture and provided
traders with a source of livelihood. Bonwire, located in Ghana’s Ashanti region is known
for its skilled weavers who make some of the best kente cloth in Ghana.


RUNTIME: 06:22
COUNTRY: GHANA
FILMING LOCATION: BONWIRE, KUMASI, ACCRA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH, TWI
SOURCE: A24 MEDIA


SCRIPT


COMMENTARY


At a workshop in Bonwire [bonweere] southern Ghana, Owusu Fordjour is getting his
materials and tools ready for weaving.


Bonwire, in the country’s Ashanti region is known for its skilled weavers who make
some of the best kente cloth in Ghana.


ITV, OWUSU FORDJOUR, Kente Weaver (English)
“I am just wrapping the yarns that I bought from the store and this is the first stage of
kente weaving. And the reason why I am doing this is that I would like to combine all the
yarns and to know the type of design that I will make.”


COMMENTARY
Kente derives its name from the Ashanti word - Kenten or basket. Originally weavers
made their cloth out of raffia and named them ‘basket cloths'


Owusu’s father was also a kente weaver and taught him the technique. He’s been in the
trade for 28 years now.


In 2003, he and some of his friends formed the Bonwire Best Kente Weavers and Sellers
Association to help promote their work, 25 of them are now based here.


To make the cloth the weavers pass shuttles of thread through yarn held in place by a
loom and bring out strips of geometrical patterns while, foot pedals help the shuttles
move at a steady rhythm.


ITV, SAMSON APPIAH, Kente Weaver (Twi)
“My uncle told me that kente weaving can help me in future so I take it very seriously
because I believe I will get something out of it in future.”


COMMENTARY


Legend has it that kente was invented hundreds of years ago by two hunters who came
across a spider spinning her web. Since then, the art has been handed down generations.


Today, many who live in Bonwire have built their businesses around the kente trade.


ITV, ATTA POKUA, Shopkeeper (Twi)
“I have been selling Kente for a long time, my grandmother started this business and left
it to my mother and then I took over from my mother.”


COMMENTARY
After weaving, the kente strips are sewn together to form large pieces of fabric, which
can be put on as a wrap or made into outfits.


Traditionally, Kente was only worn by royalty and other dignitaries to mark special
occasions and events but more and more people in the country now wear the fabric and
Kente has been adopted as Ghana’s national dress.


Charles Frimpong is a textiles lecturer at the Kwame Nkurumah University of Science
and Technology. He says the fabric is also growing popular outside Ghana.


ITV, CHARLES FRIMPONG, Textiles Lecturer (English)
“It’s more like something for blacks to identify themselves with, so that if you go to
universities in the US, black universities some wear kente academic gowns or gowns
decorated with kente at their graduation.”


COMMENTARY


One yard of hand woven kente costs about 42 US dollars which is a bit pricey for
ordinary Ghanaians so textile manufacturers are taking advantage to promote cheaper
printed versions of the cloth referred to here as ATL. These sell for about 4 dollars a yard
at the local market.


ITV, GOERGINA KOADU, Customer (English)
“I buy it for going to sew a straight dress, the reason why I like this one is that it is ATL
that’s why I am used to buying it. This one is not expensive.”


COMMENTARY


Printed kente is not as durable as woven Kente. It’s often used to make clothes, souvenirs
and accessories that are popular with tourists. Charles Frimpong says that factory-made
kente poses a threat to woven ones.
ITV, CHARLES FRIMPONG, Textiles Lecturer (English)
“Items like footware, earrings, bags, these were not original uses for kente and so the
printed kente has in a large measure come to reduce the importance and reverence in
which kente was.”


COMMENTARY


About 250 kilometers away in Accra, Elijah Mankubasi has found a unique way of using
kente to make jackets. He sells them at 28 dollars each.


ITV, ELIJAH MANKUBASI, Tailor (English/Subtitled)
“The jacket, short jacket and then we have the long coats too. We stuff them with foam
and a lining. Then we fit a zipper. So they can withstand the cold weather in western
countries. It’s good because when they come, they sometimes buy at a good price. So it’s
good business in Kente.”


COMMENTARY


For decades, Kente has preserved an integral part of Ghanaian culture and provided
traders with a source of livelihood. By taking advantage of their forefather’s ingenuity
many here can continue to benefit and pass on a rich heritage to those who come after
them.




SHOTLIST


BONWIRE, GHANA (RECENT)
1. EXTERIOR OF WORKSHOP
2. VARIOUS OF OWUSU FORDJOUR AND ASSISTANT FIXING YARN ON LOOM
3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KENTE WEAVER, OWUSU FORDJOUR, SAYING:
“I am just wrapping the yarns that I bought from the store and this is the first stage of
kente weaving. And the reason why I am doing this is that I would like to combine all the
yarns and to know the type of design that I will make.”
4. VARIOUS OF KENTE WEAVERS WEAVING
5. (SOUNDBITE) (Twi) KENTE WEAVER, SAMSON APPIAH, SAYING:
“My uncle told me that kente weaving can help me in future so I take it very seriously
because I believe I will get something out of it in future.”
6. OWUSU FORDJOUR ATTACHING VARIOUS COLOURED YARN TO A LOOM
OUTSIDE THE WORKSHOP
7. STREETS
8. ATTA POKUA SERVING A CUSTOMER AT HER SHOP
9. PIECES OF KENTE BEING WRAPPED IN CLEAR BAG
10. INSIDE A KENTE SHOP
11. (SOUNDBITE) (Twi) SHOPKEEPER, ATTA POKUA, SAYING:
“I have been selling Kente for a long time, my grandmother started this business and left
it to my mother and then I took over from my mother.”
10. WOMEN WALKING PAST KENTE SHOPS
11. VARIOUS TAILOR SOWING KENTE OUTSIDE SHOP


KUMASI, GHANA (FILE)
12. VARIOUS OF WOMEN WEARING DRESSES MADE FROM KENTE


KUMASI, GHANA (RECENT)
13. VARIOUS OF CHARLES FRIMPONG WORKING ON HIS COMPUTER
14. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TEXTILE LECTURER CHARLES FRIMPONG
“It’s more like something for blacks to identify themselves with, so that if you go to
universities in the US, black universities some wear kente academic gowns or gowns
decorated with kente at their graduation.”


ACCRA, GHANA (FILE)
15. TWO MEN HOLDING UP A KENTE CLOTH
16. HUNG KENTE CLOTH


BONWIRE, GHANA (FILE)
17. TWO WOMEN FOLDING A PIECE OF KENTE INSIDE A SHOP
18. DISPLAYED PIECES OF KENTE HUNG
19. WOMAN PAYING FOR KENTE AND LEAVING SHOP
20. DISPLAY OF VARIOUS KENTE
21. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CUSTOMER, GOERGINA KOADU, SAYING:
“I buy it for going to sew a straight dress, the reason why I like this one is that it is ATL
that’s why I am used to buying it. This one is not expensive.”
22. VARIOUS OF SHOPS
23. DISPLAY OF DRESSES MADE OF KENTE
24. VARIOUS OF SHOPS
25. DISPLAY OF VARIOUS ITEMS MADE OF KENTE


KUMASI, GHANA (RECENT)
26. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TEXTILE LECTURER CHARLES FRIMPONG
“Items like footware, earrings, bags, these were not original uses for kente and so the
printed kente has in a large measure come to reduce the importance and reverence in
which kente was.”


ACCRA, GHANA (RECENT)
27. ELIJAH MANKUBASI HANGING JACKETS OUTSIDE HIS SHOP
28. ELIJAH MANKUBASI WEARING ONE OF HIS JACKETS MADE FROM
KENTE
29. JACKETS MADE OF KENTE
30. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TAILOR, ELIJAH MANKUBASI, SAYING:
“The jacket, short jacket and then we have the long coats too. We stuff them with foam
and a lining. Then we fit a zipper. So they can withstand the cold weather in western
countries. It’s good because when they come, they sometimes buy at a good price. So it’s
good business in Kente.”
31. VARIOUS OF MEN WEAVING KENTE IN SMALL STALLS
32. VARIOUS OF TAILOR WORKING ON KENTE




END
Source: Africa Journal

				
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