My loom and me – the role of the handloom in a weaver’s identity creation

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Handloom artistry dates back to the 17th century in Africa. In Ghana, the handloom is used to produce the traditional Kente textiles, which form part of the country’s identity. This research focuses on Bonwire, Ghana a weaving community in the Ashanti region, that is specialised in the weaving of the Kente textile. However, modernisation and globalisation are seemingly threatening this industry, as a new trade law allowed imports of printed Kente-inspired textiles from Europe, America and Asia. This chapter focuses on the artisans involved in the handweaving process of the Ghanaian Kente textiles, by investigating the role of the handloom on the identity of the weavers. Weaving with a handloom has a long-standing tradition in Bonwire, thus, exploring the implications of modernisation and globalization on this traditional trade and subsequently on the identity of the weavers will be explored. This qualitative enquiry draws on 20 semi-structured interviews with artisans involved in the Kente weaving process, to explore the role of the handloom on their identity. Initial findings highlight that the art of using the handloom is infused into the culture of the weavers of Bonwire. The weavers have taken the handloom to represent a part of their identity, in that without the handloom, it will appear as though they have no identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainability, culture and handloom
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages26
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Jun 2021


  • handloom
  • weavers
  • identity process
  • Kente
  • corporate heritage identity
  • social sustainability
  • Ghana


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