Traditional African weaver to give demonstration at TTU

Posted by Lori Shull - Thursday, October 31 2013
lshull@tntech.edu

 

thumb KenteWeavingA lecture and workshop will bring a traditional form of African culture to life to Tennessee Tech University students on the main campus and the Appalchian Center for Craft this month.

Chapuchi Ahiagble will bring his loom and expertise on kente cloth to explain its significance to West African culture to students and the public Nov. 19-20.

“We study the type of cloth he weaves – kente cloth – in the history of craft class that I am teaching this semester,” said Carol Ventura, TTU art professor. “His talk and workshop will make this art form come alive for the students. It fits in perfectly with my curriculum and will benefit the weaving students and anyone else who attends.”

Kente cloth is woven from cotton and silk in thin strips that are sewn together to form a large rectangular cloth traditionally worn wrapped around the body. It was a sacred cloth reserved for royalty and only worn on very special occasions. It has become more common but is still reserved for important events. African-American students often wear a kente strip over their commencement robes.

The cloth is woven on a small loom controlled by weighted threads wrapped around the weaver’s toes. It is the best known of all African textiles and is recognizable by its bold colors and geometric designs.

Ahiagble is the son of a famous Ghanaian weaver. He will give a lecture about his art at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in room 374 of the Bryan Fine Arts Building, 1150 N. Dixie Ave. He will teach a workshop in the fibers studio of the Craft Center from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20.

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by TTU’s Center Stage, which is made possible through the TTU general education fund.

The Appalachian Center for Craft is located approximately six miles off Interstate 40 at exit 273, Smithville/McMinnville. Go south on state Route 56 and turn left immediately after crossing Hurricane Bridge. This drive leads to the Craft Center.