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Kente: It is composed of many strips of narrow cloth. The strips are in hand-woven in several parts of Ghana, including Adanwomase. They are together along the selvedges to form a large,square or rectangular cloth that is traditionally worn wrapped around the body. This hand woven cloth often features colorful geometric motifs with specific meanings. Kente cloth has its origin with the Ashanti Kingdom, and was adopted by people in Ghana and many other West African countries. It is an Ashanti 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 it is held in high esteem with Akans. Kente cloth, known as nwentoma in Akan, is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana. Kente Cloth, the traditional garment worn by Akans and the Kingdom of Ashanti royalty. Currently prevalent throughout Asanteman.Kente cloth has its origin with the Ashanti Kingdom, and was adopted by people in Ivory Coast and many other West African countries. 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 it is held in high esteem with Akans. Kente is made in Akan lands such as Ashanti Kingdom, (Bonwire,Adanwomase, Sakora Wonoo, Ntonso in the Kwabre areas of the Ashanti Region) and among Akans. Kente is also produced by Akans in Ivory Coast. Lastly, Kente is worn by many other groups who have been influenced by Akans. It is the best known of all African textiles. Kente comes from the word kenten, which means basket in Akan dialect Asante. Akans refer to kente as nwentoma, meaning woven cloth.The icon of African cultural heritage around the world, Akan kente is identified by its dazzling, multicolored patterns of bright colors, geometric shapes, and bold designs. Kente characterized by weft designs woven into every available block of plain weave is called adweneasa. The Akan people choose kente cloths as much for their names as their colors and patterns. Although the cloths are identified primarily by the patterns found in the lengthwise (warp) threads, there is often little correlation between appearance and name. Names are derived from several sources, including proverbs, historical events, important chiefs, queen mothers, and plants.

Cultural Tourism and Employment Creation Nexus: Evidence from Kente Weaving and Wood Carving Industries in Kwabre East District, Ghana 
-By Joseph Edusei1 and Padmore Adusei Amoah2


International tourism has grown extraordinarily in the past 50 years and it is currently one of the most pertinent industries in the world in terms of employment creation for individuals and revenue generation for governments. Governments and non-governmental organizations have therefore increasingly sought to 
invest in tourism driven poverty reduction initiatives by extensively exploring their tourism potential including those relating to culture. Africa suffers from
record levels of unemployment that are undermining economic growth and worsening poverty across the continent. In this period of rapid urbanisation and continual call for economic diversification in
developing countries, it is imperative that all potential income generating avenues are explored. This paper investigates the relationship between cultural tourism and employment creation. It demonstrates the need to pay more attention to cultural assets due to its potential economic gains. The paper uses a case study from Ahwiaa wood carving village and kente weaving industry at Adanwomase in Kwabre East District in Ghana to showcase the employment creation potential of cultural assets. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, about 246 informants participated in the study. The two cultural and touristic activities generated about 14 different employment avenues and employing about 1844 people. Although some of the jobs fetched less income, they constituted the main source of livelihoods for many individuals and households. The paper thus posits that, owing to their economic values, it is prudent for developing nations such as Ghana to package their cultural assets in a way that could attract the attention of the rest of the world.


International tourism has grown extraordinarily in the past 50 years and it is currently one of the most pertinent industries in the world in terms of employment creation for individuals and revenue generation for governments. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that international tourist arrivals and receipts will increase appreciably by the year 2020 especially in least developed countries (UNDP, 2011). Governments, development agencies and non-governmental organizations have therefore increasingly sought to invest in tourism driven poverty reduction initiatives (Spenceley & Meyer, 2012). These initiatives often emerge from the assumption that tourism can stimulate marginal economies and promote development through job creation and its subsequent income generation and improvement in livelihoods of the poor (Liu & Wall, 2006). However, each country's experience with tourism may vary partly because of the many forms tourism could take as well as the unique characteristics and abilities of tourist destinations to attract and accommodate people. For this reason, there is yet a disagreement on the exact contribution of tourism since its impact may sometimes be unreliable and unrecognizable. The promotion of tourism as a key development strategy is therefore sometimes contested (Liu & Wall, 2006). However, evidence and available statistics indicate that, a number of developed nations such as Switzerland, Austria, Australia, and France and developing countries such as Egypt and Thailand have accumulated remarkable social and economic welfare based on profits from tourism (UNWTO, 2008, 2011).
Worldwide, it is estimated that tourism related activities provide about 10 % of the world’s income and employs almost one tenth of the world’s workforce. All considered, tourism’s actual and potential economic impact is astounding (Mirbabayev, 2009; Spenceley & Meyer, 2012). Jobs accruing from tourism ranges from the hospitality business, the managers and staff of tourist sites, direct and indirect transportation jobs, artisans in craft related tourism (Liu & Wall, 2006). Tourism may take many forms including health tourism, seaside tourism, mountain tourism, cultural tourism, event and gastronomic tourism, shopping tourism, and business tourism (Kreag, 2001; Liu & Wall, 2006; NCC, 2004; UNWTO, 2013). Cultural tourism, is the point at which culture—the identity of a society, meets tourism—a leisure activity pursued by people with an interest in observing or becoming involved in that society. Categorically, ‘cultural tourism embraces the full range of  experiences that visitors can undertake to learn what makes a destination distinctive in terms of its lifestyle, its heritage, its arts, architecture, religion, its people and the business of providing and interpreting that culture to visitors’ (Failte Ireland, 2013, p. 4; OECD, 2009). ..... more


A traditional Asante Kente Cloth weaving town of about 5000 residents in the Northeast part of the Kwabre District , dAshanti Region. It is located six km east of Ntonso on Kumasi _ Mampong road. From the Accra _ Kumasi road, Adanwomase is 12 km northeast of Ejisu. Traditionally, Until the current chief Nana Fosu Antwi Ababio came to power in 1964, Adanwomase was a subject of the Odakro Agya stool. However, Nana Opoku Ware 2, the previous Ashanti King, raised Adanwomase chieftaincy level, allowing it self - governance and right to use a palanquin to carry the chief.
The town is known for the Adanwomase Secondary School. The school is a second cycle institution. It is also well known for the traditional Kente_cloth weaving. Although there are a variety of oral histories concerning the origins of Kente Cloth, historians and scholars agree that Kente Cloth production is an extension of centuries of strip-weaving in West Africa. Strip-weaving has existed in West Africa since the 11th century. Most scholars believe that the art form was developed in present-day Mali and spread throughout West Africa through trade and migration.  
In 1697, the Ashanti King, desiring hand-woven cloth, commissioned one of his sub-chiefs, the Akyimpimhene, to send people from the towns of Adanwomase, Asotwe, Bonwire, and Wonoo to study strip-weaving in Bontuku, a small village in present-day Ivory Coast. When they returned, the apprentices were given swatches of fabric with specific patterns on them that they were told to study and be able to recreate on demand. These patterns were called Sesea and are considered to be the first examples of true Ashanti Kente Cloth. The original centuries-old Sesea swatches are to this day kept in the Kente Chief’s house in Adanwomase. 

Since the first apprentices returned from Bontuku, Adanwomase has been the royal weaving village for the Ashanti King. The apprentices spread the art of Kente-weaving to their friends and families and in the process added their own designs and colors, creating the cloth that today is recognized worldwide as Ashanti Kente. To this day, Adanwomase carries on the centuries-old Kente-weaving tradition. Under the guidance of the Kente Chief, Adanwomase weavers continue to weave cloths for the Ashanti King, royals, and anyone in the world who appreciates the history and cultural significance woven into Ashanti Kente.The town had its name form the Adanwo tree. The name Adanwomase means under the Adanwo tree in Asante Twi dialect.

Adanwomase Kente and Sellers Association

The Association was formed about seven years ago. The main goals of the Association include: 

  • Creation of common ideologies about kente Registration of kente designs. 
  • Formation of other volunteer groups to boast tourist activities in the town.
  • Providing assistance to members on many bases concerning the kente industry.
  • The Association is also aimed at teaching and making the industry more attractive to the youth.
  • The Association currently has over 45 members of which ten of them are female. 

Kufuor's successful administration in the country and internationally was what encouraged them to design the
special Kente cloth in his honour as their forefathers had done for Kwame Nkrumah a similar ceremony. 'Fathia Fata Nkrumah' fabric has since then been in existence. The Association only accepts people from ADANWOMASE and in kente industry.The Association also consists of individuals who are sometimes registered as companies under the Kwabre District Assembly of Ghana This Association became popular after naming one cloth called Kuffour Apegya Ghana after Forner President John Agyekum Kuffour. About 55 years ago, the Kente Weavers of Ghana, led by the Adanwomase Weavers Association, honoured the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr.Kwame Nkrumah with a Kente cloth by name, 'Fathia Fata Nkrumah' in been recognised as one of the most beautiful and intricate designs in the Kente world. Explaining the rationale behind naming the new Kente design for President Kufuor, the Chairman of the Adanwomase 
Weavers Association, Nana Osei Tutu, said people of Adanwomase have had a long tradition of making Kente for important personalities and as such President.

Employment Avenues through Kente Weaving:

  • Kente Weaving (consisting of all weavers)
  • Sellers and makers of kente input materials/equipments (Loom makers, bobbin winder making, store keepers, thread shop keepers)
  • Tour guides
  • Kente Artefact Makers (slippers, bags, ties)
  • Traders (Local kente store owners, Retailers, Exporters)
  • Product Finishers (Adinkra and Embroidery designers, Seamstresses and Tailors)
  • Spinning and Warping
  • Accommodation providers

Adanwomase Tourism Management Committee

Since 2005 the Kente town administration has taken a new twist for the better. Through community-based tourism, the ATMT has been formed, which is a town tourism committee working with interested NGOs and the Ghana Tourist Board to bring the beautiful art of hand woven Kente to the outside world. We are happy to receive Tourists from all over the world to Adanwomase to share our craft and hospitality.....more

What People Say About Adanwomase

  • " It was an easy walk to the Visitor’s Centre because of the signboards directing me. It was probably one of the most straightforward trips I have made, without the need for asking anyone for directions. The guide explained to me that this was due to the community based eco-tourism which was implemented in the village and the people were taught how to act towards tourists and not to harass them. The things available to do in the village were clearly written down, including the kente tour and village tour. I chose to do the village tour as I had already been to Bonwire and seen the kente weaving there. The village tour was fantastic, I got to see the coco farm, visit ordinary houses in the village, and have a look at the shrines and inside the chief’s house. It was amazing to see that almost every house had a loom to weave kente. Men of different ages were weavi
  • ng and all trying to contribute to their village. The place definitely had a homely feel and the sense that the people were working hard to contribute to 
  • their village. It was certainly the most struct
  • ured tour that I have been to in the Ashanit region and I advise volunteers to go there if they really want to learn about kente and the have a 
  • thorough look at a small village." ....SOURCE 

  • "At such a short distance away from Kumasi, this is a great village to visit! NOBODY hassles you while in town and the kente weaving tour is a must-see while in country (whether at Adanwomase or not is, I suppose, up to the reader). We got very reasonable souvenirs (Kente strips at 5-8GhC, coin purses for 3GhC, etc) and learned from our informative tour guide, Seth, all about the process. I would highly suggest it; the cost now being 5Ghc per person plus 50p for unlimited photos. Another strange thing: this town has garbage cans! In order to get there you actually want to alight at Nkwanta (not Ntonso like the map and book suggest). We aren’t sure whether the name got changed recently, but they dropped us in Nkwanta after we asked for Ntonso and it was the correct place… I believe it was somewhere around 40p per person for the taxi/trotro ride to and from the town"...SOURCE

Traditionally, Until the current chief Nana Fosu Antwi Ababio came to power in 1964, Adanwomase was a subject of the Odakro Agya stool. However, Nana Opoku Ware 2, the previous Ashanti King, raised Adanwomase's chieftaincy level, allowing it self - governance and right to use a palanquin to carry the chief.

information on Kente

Strip weaving has exited in West Africa since the 11 th century. In 1697, the Asantehene, the King of the Ashanti people, selected four towns including Adanwomase to travel to Bontuku, a trading centre in northern Cote D'Ivoire, to study the art form.

Once they returned, these apprentices began weaving for Asantehene. Over time, they created their own styles and designs, giving birth to the cloth that today is known as Ashanti Kente. Since that time Adanwomase has been a royal weaving enclave for the Asantehene, and home to the MFUFUTOMAHENE, the chief responsible for weaving traditional black and white kente Cloth for Asante royalty. The Chief is responsible for keeping the Sesia, a basket containing all the historical samples of Kente woven in Adanwomase. Kenteweaving is a complex art, and the unique and beautiful cloths are powerful cultural symbols and a source of pride for Ghanaians and African Diaspora. The cloth is worn and used by royals during ceremonies, and for worship, outdoorings, marriages and funerals. Kente designs chronicle local history and knowledge. Designs have specific names and meanings that reflect cultural values and historical events. To this day, Adanwomase carries on the centuries - old Kente tradition...read more