beauty that’s more than stitch-deep
Every print tells a story.
In Akan, Ahwenepa Nkasa means ‘good waist beads do not rattle.’ In Ghanaian culture, the name Ahwenepa Nkasa is associated with the proverb ‘empty barrels make the most noise.’ The proverb admonishes people not to boast about their good deeds and accomplishments but, instead, to allow their good deeds and achievements to speak for themselves.
sika wƆ ntaban
Also known as the speed bird, Sika Wo Ntaban translates in Akan to ’money flies like a bird’ or ’money has wings.’ It features a bird in flight, symbolizing the fleeting nature of money and the need to value it appropriately, as it is not permanent and can be lost.
This print features illustrations of sticks of Ahwerepo, the Akan name for sugarcane. The print symbolizes that the wearer is loved, just like the sweet treat depicted, and is sometimes used to show love and appreciation to a person’s loved ones.
CONSEILLE / MACARONI
This print is called Conseille, the French word for advice, by the people of Ivory Coast. When the fabric came out, Ivorian women were in the habit of advising their daughters on romantic relationships. It’s also known as macaroni in other parts of Africa, as its design resembles elbow macaroni.
In Togo, this print is called Aganmakpo, the back ofa chameleon, an animal symbolizing change. This print symbolizes the need to embrace change and avoid stagnation.
CHA CHA CHA / SENCHI BRIDGE
This pattern has many names and meanings. The name Cha Cha Cha refers to the rhythm of the pattern. Senchi Bridge refers to a suspension bridge over the Volta River in Ghana that sways violently when crossed.
SƐ WƆ NI SIKA / DICE
Se Wo Ni Sika, the Akan name for this African print, stems from the proverb ‘se wo ni sika a men’twa block,’ which translates to ‘if you do not have money do not purchase building blocks’. It simply advises people not to start something they cannot finish. It also symbolizes the importance of making a good plan, reflected in the organization of the stones.
This print is called Aso Bayere, the Akan name for sweet yam, as the design resembles the shape of sweet yam leaves. Most mothers have their own way of preparing this vegetable, and likewise this fabric has many ways it can be worn.