New Paradigms in Ghanaian Royal Ceremonial Clothing
Ghanaian Royal ceremonial clothing have been made of woven fabric for centuries. Kente is deemed to be used by royals in about six regions in the country; Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo, Western and Volta region. These cloths are used on all occasions such as durbars and special gatherings. There are other fabrics also found in Ashanti and other Akan speaking regions such as Kuntunkuni, Adinkra prints, Kobene, Brisi and Nwomu. All these cloths are used for funerals with the exception of Nwomu which is versatile in use. There is a paradigm shift from the use of these traditional royal cloths to the newly introduced embroidered cloth for kings and chiefs in the country. This paper seeks to bring to fore the history, characteristics and production processes of embroidered cloth in Ghana. It is also to investigate the rationale behind the shift from Kente and other traditional cloth to embroidered cloth by traditional rulers and the elite class in Ghana and beyond. Relevant data for the study were solicited
using interviews and observation from chiefs, opinion leaders, embroidery designers, weavers and cloth traders in Ntonso, Adanwomase, Asawase and its environs in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The outcome of this study revealed that embroidery designed cloth, as produced by the people of Ntonso and other communities have unique features which identify the kings and chiefs by the art and symbols. This immensely contributes to the socio-economic, cultural, political and development of Ghana.