Donning of the Kente Cloth

As part of Goucher College’s Commencement festivities, the “Donning of the Kente Cloth” ceremony allows students of the African diaspora and communities of color to pay tribute to their own unique heritages, experiences, and achievements. The ceremony also presents the occasion for students to pay homage to those who have paved the way for them prior to and during their time at Goucher.

The ceremony will take place at noon on Thursday, May 21, in Merrick Lecture Hall.

During the ceremony, 26 graduating seniors will be draped in strips of kente. Dr. La Jerne Terry Cornish ’83, M.Ed. ’94 will be the emcee. Percy Moore ’95 will give the keynote address, and music will be provided by master drummer Menes Yahudah of Urban Foli, a musical theater group that performs traditional African drumming and dance.

The kente cloth originates from Ghana, West Africa, dating back to about 3000 B.C.E. The legend of kente says that it came from two brothers, watching a spider weave its web in the forest. While two major ethnic groups claim the cloth originates from their own legends, the Akan in the Ashanti Region and the Ewe in the Volta Region, both groups agree the cloth is very significant and reserved for special occasions and is a visual representation of the wearer’s history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, religious beliefs, social values, and political thoughts.

Each kente stole is woven in a specific pattern, often reflecting a proverb or other significant meaning, and each color and symbol carries importance. The Goucher College Class of 2015 kente stole is blue, yellow, green, and red, and it includes the adinkra symbol of the stool.



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