Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week 15-16: African Kente Cloth

As a project for the school's annual International Luncheon, they study a region...this year was Africa. Parents prepare African food and they spent a month or more studying it.

For art, we did "kente cloth" placemats. Kente cloth is a Central African specialty and uses strips of intricately woven cloth in bright colors. It is a ceremonial cloth and well known outside of Africa. Each color has a meaning.

To do this with paper, I used a large brown paper that they folded and then cut slits so it resembled a comb. Use a ruler for spacing.  Your goal is to ufold the paper and have it look like a venetain blind but stay in one piece.  Then you take 2-3 other colors and cut strip with a ruler. Decorate this strips with a geometric pattern.

Alternating colors, weave the colored strips into the brown paper. When this all done, you can also decorate the brown parts as well. The finishing touch was "laminating" this with contact paper.


  1. Great Project! Hope you don't mind but I am going to "borrow" your beautiful craft project and use it for the children at our learning center where I volunteer. kente is such a beautiful and expressive cloth. Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to seeing more of your art!
    wishing you all the best

  2. Thanks Jaelma. I get inspired by lots of other art blogs and educational websites, and this is one way for me to give back. Good luck!