Patterned textiles are an important means of communication in African cultures. They are used, among other things, to assert status, to proclaim identity, to assert allegiance and to commemorate events. In West Africa there are traditions of wax prints, which are quite expensive to produce, and fancy printed cottons, which are much cheaper. The latter are widely used in Ghana as a means of mass communication as the process can respond quickly to national events. Kente cloth is woven in strips and sewn together. Each pattern has significance in its colour and design. Kente cloth was historically worn by kings but is often now adopted to express pride in African heritage. In East Africa, in Tanzania and Kenya, kitenge and kangas worn by women, and sometimes men, are often decorated with proverbs in Swahili or, more rarely, political slogans.
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