A Kente bookmark: simple medicine for the soul

 

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A Kente cloth bookmark.

If you are looking for something to help you feel more grounded in this crazy, wild, imbalanced world, a Kente cloth bookmark can be wonderful blessing of pure Zen simplicity, a symbolic reminder of the immense joy and emotional nourishment that comes from reading.

Instead of constantly immersing ourselves in the never-ending drone of the digital chatter in our tablets, computers, laptops and phones, a healthy way to close out the day is to gently slow one’s mind down by reading a book. The quiet light of a desk lamp on the pages of a book can ease the incessant brain stimulation from the flickering photons of a computer screen, calming the mind and making it easier to sleep. There’s also something reassuring and pleasant about the lovely touch and feel of a Kente cloth bookmark (or any kind of Kente cloth, for that matter). Besides being vibrantly colorful, aesthetically pleasing and symbolic of African dignity, Kente cloth is remarkably and beautifully tactile. One of the main reasons why Kente is such a prized fabric throughout Africa is because of the complexity and quality of how the cloth and silk strips woven into fine detail in every part of the very substance of the fabric. Kente cloth has a touch and feel that is virtually unlike any other fabric on the planet!

If you want to enhance your mind and the deep spiritual energy and associations with Kente, do yourself a great favor and participate in of one of Kwasi Asare’s amazing Kente cloth workshops. Not only will you learn about the history, heritage and symbolism of Kente, but Kwasi will also teach you how to make your own Kente cloth bookmark, with your own pattern and colors. You can even buy your own small loom and continue to practice making Kente on your own. Kwasi recently held a workshop at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. as part of their annual international crafts program and he is organizing Kente events throughout the country. If you know of a school, church or community organization that would be interested in hosting a Kente cloth workshop, contact Kwasi directly at 202-569-5153.

 

“I read everything. I read my way out of the two libraries in Harlem by the time I was thirteen. One does learn a great deal about writing this way. First of all, you learn how little you know. It is true that the more one learns the less one knows. I’m still learning how to write. I don’t know what technique is. All I know is that you have to make the reader see it. This I learned from Dostoyevsky, from Balzac.”

James Baldwin


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