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Preserving Tradition: Kente Weaving in Togo 

Blessed with an abundance of raw materials, Togo has long been a magnet for, and cultivator of, artisans across many disciplines. A source of considerable pride is the country’s long tradition of kente cloth weaving, for which practitioners are regulated by the government and subject to exacting standards. The Ewe people named the cloth based on the weaving process itself – “ke te,” a term that has since evolved into the word “kente.” In the Ewe language, “ke” signifies spreading or opening, while “te” denotes tightening or pressing. “Ke na te” in Ewe encapsulates the process of crafting the cloth, wherein the weaver opens (“ke”) the weft (the horizontal part of the yarn), passes the warp (the vertical part) through, and presses (“te”) it, repeating these actions countless times to create the distinctive Kente fabric.