The history and significance of the Kente and gold necklace is the journey each object has endured and it’s meaning to my father especially when telling the story of him coming to the United States twenty-one years ago. Before Charles Obeng(my father) settled in the United States he had previously lived in Nigeria, Libya and Egypt for some time. Before embarking on his journey to these different countries he was given a Kente cloth made of interwoven stripes or prints in silk and cotton fabric and a gold necklace. His great grandmother Mary Fanowaah gave it to him in remembrance to remind him of home that is Ghana.
According to traditions in my fathers family, it is usually a custom when someone is embarking on a journey that signifies a new phase or chapter in their live they are usually given either objects or property which holds value to the family. Being the oldest of four boys, my father was given this cloth and jewelry from his great grandmother not only to as remembrance but for him to also represent and continue the tradition. Kente cloth is typically associated with royalty and prestige because of its value and association. When preparing to come to the United States my father debated on bringing his Kente Cloth mainly because he was not sure if he would be able to wear the cloth. This was because he did not expect anyone in the U.S to know of the cloth, let alone be allowed to wear it. But that did not stop from bringing it along on his journey.
– Grace Obeng