- The people of Agotime believe kente evolved from their area before spreading to other parts of the country.
Written By Mary Anane-Frimpong - Agotime is located in the Agotime-Ziope District in the Volta Region. It can arguably stand as a cradle of kente weaving in Ghana.
For 300 years different patterns of kente have emerged from this community to boost the cultural identity of Ghanaians.
Kente is a timeless heritage which gives Africans a sense of nationalism and pride.
Agotime, land of rich kente
It is often the first-choice gift for any important visitor to Ghana because apart from its beauty, the patterns and designs have deep philosophical underpinnings.
The people of Agotime believe kente evolved from their area before spreading to other parts of the country.
With over 150 patterns of kente to their credit, Agotime Ziope has started the construction of a kente village for the purpose of making the area a hub of kente in Ghana.
Some of the unique kente they boast of include Tritriku, Trekake, Atixali, Fialexorme, Gabusu, Fatia, Faprim, Agutemakpa, Tsapim, Tsatsatsa and Zevideka.
Long before the idea of creating a kente village was formed, the Agotime Traditional Area, made up of 37 towns and villages within the Agotime-Ziope District, had birthed the Agbamevorza (the Kente Festival) which was institutionalised in 1995 as an annual event by the people to promote and preserve the uniqueness of the kente cloth and its associated technology and creativity.
The 2019 edition, being held today, has the theme: ‘Attitudinal change: The panacea for our future development.”
Over 1500 designs and pieces of old and new kente will be showcased and be on sale as part of the activities for the ceremony to serve tourists and visitors with rich kente.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Konor of Agotime, Nene Nuer Keteku III, said “this year’s celebration of Kente Festival will be a period for promoting antique cloths that have been replaced with fashionable designs and, therefore, have been forgotten.”
Nene Neur Keteku III, Konor of Agotime Traditional Area
Apart from tourism, Nene Keteku said trading in kente was a big economic venture which Ghana could take advantage of to market the rich cloth to the world.
“The motive for the Kente village is to showcase creativity and preserve our ancestral heirloom. Apart from preserving the kente treasure, the village will also serve as the honeypot for the tourism industry in Ghana. In fact, it will serve as a one-stop shop for anything about kente for any visitor from Ghana and around the world,” Nene Keteku III said.
That, he said, would open up the area for economic development and create employment for the people.
He stated further that all proceeds from the festival would be channelled towards the construction of the Kente village.
The Coordinator of the festival, Mr Elvis Ativoe, said the 2019 edition of the festival aimed to project kente’s contribution to Ghana’s identity beyond that of any commonplace fabric in the world.
Key activities for the week-long celebration include a health screening and a clean-up exercise, celebration of women and children, kente weaving competition, re-enactment of the migration of the Agotimes with kente treasures, maidens riverside demonstration of the Ghanaian hospitality, musket firing in celebration of heroes and heroines and a grand durbar.
High-profile personalities such as Former President Jerry John Rawlings, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi; the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi; Togbe Adza Tekpor VII of the Avatime Traditional Area and Togbe Feti of the Aflao Traditional Area are expected to grace the occasion.