What the colours of Ghana’s rich kente cloth symbolise

Democrats, led a group of black lawmakers, unveiled sweeping legislation on Monday to combat police violence and racial injustice, two weeks after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody led to widespread protests.

The bill would allow victims of misconduct and their families to seek financial damages against police limiting the legal doctrine known as qualified immunity. It would also make lynching a federal hate crime.

Democrats hope to bring the legislation to the floor of the House of Representatives before the end of June. But its reception in the Republican-controlled Senate is unclear, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noncommittal on the need for legislation.

About two dozen lawmakers knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds as a tribute to George Floyd.

Lawmakers, wearing Ghanaian Kente cloth scarves, knelt in the Capitol Visitor Center before holding a press conference to unveil their legislation in response to almost two weeks of nationwide protests over police brutality toward African Americans.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and members of Congress observe moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd, on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 8, 2020. (Abaca Press/Sipa USA via AP)

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and members of Congress observe moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd, on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 8, 2020. (Abaca Press/Sipa USA via AP)

So what do the colours of Ghana’s rich kente cloth symbolise?

Kente is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips. Almost every Ghanaian tribe wears this fabric. Kente comes from the word ‘kenten’, which means basket in the Asante dialect of Akan. It is an Akan royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance and was the cloth of kings.[Over time, the use of kente became more widespread. However, its importance has remained and southern Ghanaians hold it in high esteem. Globally, it is used in the design of academic stole in graduation ceremonies.

-Black: Maturation, Intensified Spiritual Energy, Spirits Of Ancestors, Passing Rites, Mourning And Funerals

-Blue: Peacefulness, Harmony And Love

-Green: Vegetation, Planting, Harvesting, Growth, Spiritual Renewal

-Gold: Royalty, Wealth, High Status, Glory, Spiritual Purity

-Grey: Healing And Cleansing Rituals; Associated With Ash

-Maroon: The Color Of Mother Earth; Associated With Healing

-Pink: Assoc. With The Female Essence Of Life; A Mild, Gentle Aspect Of Red

-Purple: Assoc. With Feminine Aspects Of Life; Usually Worn By Women

– Red: Political And Spiritual Moods; Bloodshed; Sacrificial Rites And Death.

-Silver: Serenity, Purity, Joy; Associated With The Moon

-White: Purification, Sanctification Rites And Festive Occasions

-Yellow: Preciousness, Royalty, Wealth, Fertility, Beauty

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Kwame Anane

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