As with my father, A.E. Asare, one of the greatest honors of my life has been to create a special Kente cloth for the United Nations – as shown in the photographic above. This Kente cloth was completed and presented to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in October 1995.
As mentioned previously, my father’s Kente cloth for the U.N. is titled, “Tikoronkoagyina,” which can be translated as, “One head does not go into council. Two heads are better than one.” In my own vision I sought to expand upon what my father had done, both in terms of my own conceptual ideal as well as using the Kente weaving process in an artistically complex manner. My Kente cloth is titled, “Consensus has been Reached” and I included the U.N. logo with the Earth and surrounded by olive branches and layers of very complex squares inside rectangular panels, which almost look like they could symbolize flags of the 193 member states.
I believe the process of Kente weaving is not unlike international diplomacy; it involves taking various disparate elements, threads, colors etc. and bringing them together to create a work of art that has a larger purpose and greater beauty and integral vision. It is my sincere hope that our international leaders can find a true synergy – where the sum of whole is greater than the individual parts – in their work. Just to survive as a species and overcome the global threat of climate change – let alone achieve harmony and peace within the community of nations – our international leaders will have to strive beyond their separate interests and reach for a higher purpose and unity.
In our Kente cloth workshops we give people of all ages the opportunity to learn about the tradition of Kente weaving. I also believe that the practice of learning how to create one’s own Kente cloth can be a deeply gratifying and spiritual experience. By understanding the symbolism of Kente and developing a feeling for weaving, young children as well as adults can create a measure of harmony, beauty and joy through their own artistic process. We encourage schools, churches and community groups to work with us to organize Kente demonstrations and workshops – please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to participate in this unique experience!