THE ART OF WEAVING IN AFRICA
Weaving is a very important part of African cultures. Think of the cloth that you use or see in your life every day. Look at your clothes, your family’s clothes, and your friends’ clothes. Think of the baskets, bags, and fishing nets you might use. They might seem normal to you.
However, they are actually very interesting and amazing. The Ancient Egyptians in the north part of Africa were weaving 6000 years ago. 6000 years later since then, many things have changed but this is something that has continued. Weaving is a practice that has not died yet. You are still doing the same thing as people in the past. Isn’t that amazing? All your things made of cloth are part of a very long tradition. Isn’t it wonderful to think that weaving is a tradition that you are carrying on? You are connected to the past through this tradition.
Weaving is an important part of your culture. It can be a symbol of your identity.
THE CULTURE OF WEAVING
Kente cloth is from the Akan people of South Ghana. It is a symbol of their cultural background. Its patterns and colours have meaning. They are symbols of the people’s history, religion, storytelling, and politics, for example. Green is supposed to make you think of symbol of plants, farming, and medicine made of herbs. It is a symbol of life, growth, and fertility. Grey is supposed to make you think of ashes, which were used in cleansing rituals. It is a symbol of the spirit being made clean and balanced. The cloth that the Akan people make is a symbol of their lives. It shows important parts of their lives. It expresses their lives in an interesting and colourful way.
Khasa blankets are made by the Fulani people in Mali. They wear them during the cold months. The Khasa blankets have many patterns such as stripes, circles, and triangles. These patterns are symbols of the people’s myths and life in nature.
As you can see, weaving is very closely linked to a community’s culture. It is a form of art that is used in everyday life. It is an important part of a community’s culture.
When you are weaving, you are doing more than weaving cloth. You are weaving your place into a long tradition of weavers. You are joining your parents, your grandparents, your grandparents’ grandparents, and so on. For example, the Bogolan is a mud cloth made in west Africa. Mothers teach their daughters to weave. The knowledge of how to weave becomes a gift passed onto one generation to the next. You are weaving your life and present community into a rich history of art. You are weaving the future of your community’s continued identity.
Cloth is often made by many people. For example, many people help to make the Khasa blankets. Fulani women spin and dye the wool. Then, Fulani men weave the blankets. Both men and women work together to create a blanket. Isn’t it great to think that woven cloth can be a work of art created by many different people? A cloth becomes a symbol of the bonds of the community.
Weaving is a very important part of your culture’s identity. It is amazing that you can see the symbols of cultural pride in your life every day.