African Culture and Kitenge Fashion Leading into our New Collection of African Inspired Earrings
African Culture is literally woven into Kitenge Fashion as shown in all different kinds of kitenge and ankara fabric. What’s the difference between kitenge and ankara fabric, you say? Well, simply the area of Africa that the fabric comes from. Ankara fabric is made in West Africa and kitenge fabric comes from my home, East Africa.
Kitenge and ankara fabric are uniquely created to commemorate a special occasion such as a wedding, graduation, etc. The colors are purposefully woven into the fabric to tell a significant story. Not only do we tell a story in the colors chosen for a particular piece of fabric, but also in the name we choose to give those fabrics. We name our products in Swahili as another way to share a culture and tell a story. For example, our red, black and white kitenge fabric is named Nawiri, meaning “blossom.” We’ve named our products Nawiri to showcase our blossoming business.
After almost 4 years in business, we have learned many lessons and are continuing to grow into the company we know we are meant to be. You’ll find additional Swahili translations in the product description for each piece as well as on our social media pages.
African Culture is also shown through accessories such as jewelry. In Africa, much like the United States, wearing jewelry can indicate someone’s wealth, power and standing in society. You could even tell where an individual comes from by what jewelry they are wearing! Jewelry can be made with gold, silver, beads, and even bone or glass! The many different tribes in Africa create their own beautiful pieces to wear and to trade for other goods.
At Ceiphers Clothing, we’ve joined together the culture and storytelling of kitenge fabric and African accessories. We are excited to announce our recent release of Kitenge Fabric Earrings! Available in many different shapes and colors, we’ve named this set The Awuor Collection.
Who is Awuor?
Most people know Ceiphers Clothing as it refers to myself, Ceiphers Olweya. It’s only right, being that the name of the brand matches the name of the cofounder. What some people might not know is that there is a partnership running the show here at Ceiphers Clothing. My wife, Rachel Olweya, is the second (and very important) part of this dynamic duo.
Rachel was given the name Awuor by our Luo Family. Luo is the name of the tribe, but also the name of the language. In Kenya, there are two official languages: Swahili and English. Most people learn both. There are also many different tribal languages, such as Luo. The name Awuor comes from the Luo language.
In the Luo community, a child's name is based on the time, season or circumstances at birth. In Rachel’s case, she was born at 3 AM, thus the name "Awuor." For a boy, we would replace the A with O: Owuor. My family gave Rachel her name very early on in our relationship and it remains closer to her heart.
As the main designer in the Awuor Collection, Rachel has carefully crafted each piece with a purpose. You'll notice that some of the kitenge fabrics match other products from both the women's and the men's side of the store, such as dresses, bow ties, and shirts.
As a couple, Rachel and I often coordinate our looks to match (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not!) It's flourished in both of our personalities and we want that to shine through our brand. Take a look at some of our new African-inspired earrings!
- Nawiri Rectangle Earrings
- Nawiri Circle Earrings
- Nawiri Triangle Earrings
- Throwback Rectangle Earrings
- Throwback Triangle Earrings
- Cheza Triangle Earrings
As always, we donate to Nyaburi Integrated Primary School for every item you purchase. Your purchase helps us make a difference in the lives of students in need. Shop the new collection today!