Posted on June 12, 2010


kente: the rich heritage of Ashanti

Now the second story about the kente clothe. Again, no names are mentioned to protect the guilty and us! This post involves the local travel agency that the U.S. travel agent that specializes in West Africa uses here in Ghana. For years Four Villages has been encouraging the American company to try other local companies. The agent keeps informing me that they have been and this is the best they’ve contracted. UGH! Just recently, Four Villages actually recommended one new company ABACAR run by a French guy.

Anyways back to the story…kente clothe represents the rich cultural heritage of Ghana. As background, there are actually two types of kente, distinctly different, that come from two different groups and two different regions, the Ashanti in the Ashanti Region and the Ewe in Volta Region. . Needless to say both groups claim that they were first and that theirs is the true kente clothe.

So….D and K, -see previous post-are out for the day with their guide and driver from the Accra tour company. Time and again I recommend that guests visit the friendly kente village of Adanwomase. I give the same advice to the tour companies, but inevitably they take their guests to the high hassle kente village of Bonwire. In fact, we advise all to buy kente in the Kumasi Central Market where most Ghanaians go to make their kente purchases.

Well, back they come from a full day touring. First thing, the couple shows us are their purchases and, needless to say D, his radar up, asks if he got a good price for the kente he purchased. My reply, “I don’t know. A good indication though is how much the shopkeeper started at and how much you paid.”

“We tried to bargain, but we were told it was a special piece of clothe and that it was fixed price.”

Well, needless to say, up went my radar!

When Charity saw the kente, of course, she said it was great.

The Departure:Charity with Kente on head!

But…after the departure, she said, “It wasn’t even kente from here. It was like the tour company guys had brought it with them and sold it to D. & K.”

1. Buy your kente in the Kumasi Central Market.

kente celebration

2. Take Comfort the Four Villages Inn guide. She has the best interests of the tourist at heart.

kente and Comfort

3. And, you got it, again when coming to Ghana do your own research and make your own bookings! That is, don’t use an American travel agent and, if you do need a tour company to take you around, go with ABACAR.