Kwasi Asare, the Art of Weaving and the Myth of ANANSI

Welcome to the web site of Kwasi Asare, mathematician, master Kente weaver, African sage and philosopher. Kwasi’s extraordinary journey and heritage as a weaver has taken him from his roots in Ghana to Europe, and across the Atlantic to the United States – and even to the world’s greatest diplomatic body, the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.  As a gifted artist, Kwasi Asare is able to blend his work as a master Kente weaver with his wisdom and knowledge as an educator, a mathematician and an African oral tradition teacher or griot.  His exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops are a fascinating cultural experience.

Kente cloth – which comes from the Ashanti region of Ghana – is the most prized, recognizable and distinguished fabric in all of Africa. Kente cloth is valued by chiefs, leaders and royalty for ceremonial and spiritual purposes; it has a distinct beauty and Kente designs are imbued with symbolism and meaning.  It is no wonder that Kente has become highly popular among African Americans and many people throughout the entire African Diaspora; it evokes a powerful emotional response and gives the tradition a new meaning and relevance in this global age.

In many West African Traditions the Creative Intelligence of the Universe is envisioned as ANANSI – a mythical spider weaving an interconnected web of all creatures in Nature.

Throughout West Africa and in the African Diaspora, there are traditional tales of ANANSI, an all-powerful mythological spider, conceived of as the Creator of the Universe, Nature and Life itself. Anansi is also a central character in many African stories as a trickster and a teacher, one who dispenses some of the most profound and challenging human lessons in various folk legends. Kwasi Asare himself is a true fundi or respected teacher in these oral traditions, as he combines the time-honored wisdom of Africa with the best of modern Western education and culture.

Spider Web Graphic 2

As Kwasi has suggested, the Kente tradition originated from the observations of a spider weaving its web. Africans revered the mythology of Anansi because they observed how Creation itself is much like the amazing beauty, intricacy and mathematical patterns of a spider’s web. The great Ancestral Teachers surmised that Nature is something like a vast spider’s web, where all plants and creatures are tied together in interdependent ecological relationships and interconnected food chains. The great Ancestral Teachers would also have observed that human and animal bodies naturally heal themselves, as the tissue surrounding a wound weaves its own web of healing from the skin and cells of the body itself. They could see that integrated mathematical structures and patterns were inherent in the very fabric of Nature and existence.   

It naturally follows that in West Africa the craft of weaving is a highly respected art form, as weaving reflects these  profound aspects of the magnificent power of Anansi – the weaving of Creation itself.  Perhaps no one better understands this power and this art – in all its depth and mathematical beauty – than Kwasi Asare.  Kwasi’s workshops and exhibitions are more than just presentations; his work is a vehicle for dispensing new ways of integrating mind, body and spirit and developing a greater awareness through art, symbolism and self-expression. Much of Kwasi’s work involves making these African traditions more accessible to people in the Western World. His workshops, exhibitions and presentations have something to offer for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Kwasi Asare would like to thank you for visiting this web site. Please enter your name and e-mail address below so we can add you to our mailing list for information about Kwasi’s workshops, blog updates, educational and cultural presentations. We want to keep in touch with you. We hope that your involvement with us will stimulate creativity, as well as a new vision of African culture along with an abiding interest in our Kente weaving work. Ase.