On Saturday morning, April 6, we had another wonderful workshop – this time at Minneville Elementary School in Prince William County Public Schools in Woodbridge, Virginia. I love working with kids and youth of all ages from elementary school to high school and college. As you can see in the video, young children can easily get fully absorbed – mentally, emotionally and physically – into working with the Kente loom. This kind of experience is a hand-eye/mind-body connection that is a viscerally different and a much-needed healthy balance to our “modern” tendency to spend hours in front of computer screens. We have also found that children enjoy feeling empowered by giving them the means and showing them how to create their own Kente designs. We find that children respond to this process emotionally and it leads to a wonderful sense of achievement and self-esteem as they complete their own projects.
We would love to get more children and youth involved in learning about Kente cloth, its origins and traditions as well as finding joy in making their own Kente creations. Our workshops integrate right-brain/left-brain activities by challenging children to use their imagination as well as to think analytically as they make mathematical calculations to plan their own weaving pattern. Once you get children started they fall in love with the experience and they become naturally motivated – they take to it like a duck takes to water!
If you know of a school, church or a youth group or community organization that would be interested in our Kente cloth workshops, let us know – let’s help more people discover the joy and beauty of Kente.