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Kpetoe

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Kpetoe (pronounced Pay tway) [1] is a town in the Volta Basin region of Ghana. Kpetoe is 25 km east of Ho, on the Ghanaian border with Togo.

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Kpetoe is the capital of the newly created Adaklu Anyigbe District, It is town with a beat. The town is built around kente, the clicks and clatter of the weaver as he draws the fly shuttle and opens the shed of his loom are this beat. Kpetoe is renowned throughout Ghana for the quality of its weaving.

Kente is the hand woven cloth that is the best known and most widely recognized African textile. It has been declared a world heritage treasure by UNESCO. If you haven’t seen and heard it being made you would still think it’s amazing but once you witness a weaver in action you will want to own some of your own. Bold designs, bright multicolored patterns, a touch of geometry, and the insinuation of royalty make kente the icon of African cultural heritage around the world. While connected to all of Africa, kente weaving is so uniquely Ghanaian and so historically and culturally ingrained into their society that learning how to weave is learning about Ghana and its people. Its ability to evoke powerful emotions and symbolize some of the most fundamental human ideals connects it to its owners on a personal level. With over 500 weaving designs and counting there is a piece of kente for everyone. The clicks and clatter of a weaver as he draws the fly shuttle and opens the shed at his loom are the beat this village lives by.

Traditionally kente is a revered form of ceremonial bodily attire and is considered a luxury. It’s used to “dress the gods.” Kente is sometimes even used to create a physical representation of the gods of certain shrines. It is heavily used in funerals, weddings, puberty rights, and birth rituals. Often times the paramount chief will wear just a kente cloth. It’s an indispensable element of royal regalia. The president of Ghana has their picture taken in a special cloth made just for them. This was started by the first president, Kwame Nkrumah, who used the cloth to emphasize African pride during the era of decolonization. Since then heads of state have regularly worn kente especially to momentous occasions such as swearing-in ceremonies.

Kpetoe in collaboration with UNESCO, NCRC, and US Peace Corps is currently working on building a visitor center to absorb tourists. For time being however there are still great shops and a kente weaving centre. The shops sell directly off the loom so the quality and price are the best you will find. The products that are tailored out of kente are great Ghanaian souvenirs. They include purses, bags, hats, ties, bow ties, bookmarks, and placemats. The best variety of goods can be found at the Desiadenyo Store, located off the main road in village. The weaving centre houses many weavers and is a great place to start your visit. It is located right next to the District Assembly just past town when coming from Ho. The traditional area celebrates the Agbamexoza (“kente”) Festival annually the last week in August to first week in September.

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