Woven by hand, traditional West African kente cloth becomes a colorful scarf. Deborah Osei Boakye continues her grandfather's craft with this design. Each strip of kente cloth requires considerable effort, and the looms are worked with both hands and feet. Each color has its own meanings in Ashanti culture, and the patterns themselves are carefully chosen symbols, which a master weaver develops and names. This design is named Nsa Nua, meaning "loom" in the Akan language.
THIS PRODUCT IS ARTISAN-MADE
ARTIST: Deborah Osei Boakye
"I became interested in weaving at a tender age. My grandfather, Opanyin Kwame Kwarteng of blessed memory, saw the potential to weave in me. He taught me earnestly to weave anytime I visited him on holidays.
"I am the last of nine children, born in June of 1965 in Accra, the capital of Ghana. I am also the mother of three. Apart from weaving, I also love to travel.
"I became a weaver because I wanted to continue the family trade and make a mark as well. Through kente cloth, I can express my appreciation of how the Ashanti culture and Western culture have found a point of integration, and this motivates me. I have six trainees who are learning this craft under my guidance.
"My work is complex because it involves the careful selection of yarns for specific designs. Kente cloth basically requires silk, rayon and cotton yarns and a shuttle box. I begin by stretching yarns from a shuttle box to form the base color of the Kente stole. I then shuttle different colors of yarns to create specific designs.
"Over time, a modification in the designs has taken place, though traditional designs are patronized.
"The climate is a challenge. It is virtually impossible to weave during the rainy season since weaving is normally done outdoors.
"I have shown my weavings in the Kentefest commemorating Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebrations, as well as other venues. Now, through Novica, I can show them to the entire world."
Kente cloth is woven in strips. Each strip requires considerable effort, and the looms are worked with both hands and feet. Strips are generally three to four inches wide and seven to ten feet long, and the length of time it takes to complete one strip varies by the complexity of the chosen pattern. The simplest use mostly vertical, or warp patterns, and an experienced weaver can make several of those in one day. But patterns with nearly all weft (horizontal thread) patterns where the warp design is hardly visible can take up to four days to complete an individual strip. Each color has its own meanings in Ashanti culture. Green is fertility and new harvest, gold is royalty, black is strength, aging, and spirituality, while white is purity. The patterns themselves are carefully chosen symbols, which a master weaver develops and names, often to honor people, historical events, or proverbs.
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34 - 36
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FINDING YOUR SIZE
Take your measurements with the tape measure over your under garments. If your measurements fall between sizes you may prefer the next larger size. Inseam, skirt and dress lengths vary by style and will be listed in the item description. Our sweaters are knit in standard American sizes, however actual measurements vary by style.
BUST / CHEST
Measure around the fullest part of chest under the arms and over the shoulder blades keeping the tape measure level.
Measure around the smallest part of the waist keeping the tape measure comfortably loose. Most garments use the low waist measurement noted below.
Measure around the body approximately 1.5" below the natural waist (above). This is the area where most pants and skirts actually fit.
Standing with your heels together, measure around the fullest part of the body approx 7"-8" below the waist.
Measure around the base of the neck keeping the tape measure comfortably loose.
Bend elbow slightly and starting at the center back of the neck, measure across the shoulder, to the elbow and down to the wrist.
Our standard inseam length for women is 32" and 34" for men; however inseam measurements will vary slightly by style.
Download our printable ring sizing chart to find the perfect fit!
We refer to these items as "discounted wholesale". Such items carry a deeper wholesale discount than other items, and have greater potential to provide your business with healthier resale margins.
Triple 'Win' Pricing
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WIN # 1 You Save!
Handmade goods from developing nations usually pass through a series of intermediaries before being purchased by retail consumers. Each of these intermediaries adds cost to the product, and that cost is passed on to the customer. The #rc.config.settings.storefront.name# partnered with NOVICA, who works directly with artists through their regional offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America, allowing purchases from UNICEF Market to go directly from the artisans to fulfilling customer orders. By skipping steps in the traditional supply chain, you can buy high quality items for less than the regular retail prices.
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