We present our debut collection NKWANTANAN. A first of it’s kind from KAYADUA’s founder and creative director, Eyiwaa Agyekumhene. NKWANTANAN is a visual adaptation of an interpreted dream, one that visited the subconscious state of the brand’s creative director in 2018. The essence of the dream holds great personal meaning to Eyiwaa who founded the KAYADUA brand in 2018, and her need to immortalize it into a collection is reflective of this. With awareness, within a dream Eyiwaa found herself face to face with a long overdue meeting with her mother. The trauma of losing her mother at the tender age of 7, caused her to burrow the longing for her mother in her sacred unconsciousness and at a time when she needed it most, she found herself unintentionally seeking her mother in her dream. Continue reading after last look.
In this lucid dream, Eyiwaa is in an unfamiliar space, facing a crowd of unapproachable faces. A gathering of some sort, although they were non hostile towards her being there it was clear her presence was felt and it was questionable if she had entitlement to be there. They wore all white, and their beaming red eyes followed Eyiwaa with great commitment. In the midst of the human collective, she noticed some movement resisting through towards her and through the unknown faces came one she recognized. Her Mother. The warm embrace of her mother’s hand was welcomed, followed by the anxious words out of her mouth “What are you doing here.”
However, the ambiguity of her dream doesn’t deter from the prominent message throughout which was knowing thyself. The dream was gifted to Eyiwaa at a time where she was slightly disconnected from her lineage, in the sense that she had moved to Accra to build a present and a future away from her hometown. This move made it easier to lay that connection dormant, all the while she explored her creativity and the question, we all struggle to answer “who am I.” The unknown faces in her dream are representative of her ancestors, the heavy glare from red eyes is symbolic of observation, judgement and consciousness. Her mother’s presence only solidified the connection back to her ancestors. Mothers or any female caregivers are our portals into this world, they are our security and one of our only references of belonging. Her mother’s presence was a confirmation that her return, although a surprise, was welcomed.
NKWANTANAN, is a collection that embodies the story of coming home to thyself, this idea of knowing who you are, the relationships, bloodline, customs and values all contribute to one’s identity. Roots and bloodline are crucial parts of the foundation of any individual wanting to design and curate his or her future. We see this idea playing throughout the collection. The color palette is a playful reflection of the dream – white hues to symbolize new beginnings and reflection. The leopard and cheetah print is a take on Eyiwaa’s clan totem of the leopard, showing the transitioning of her roots into her own representation within the world. Seeing that they are both close in the cat family, Eyiwaa is showing that you can present yourself in any form but don’t stray too far from your heritage.
The heart of KAYADUA is innovative weaving techniques and they are a central part to this collection. The beauty of the technique represents the interlocking threads that give us our identity, we are not one-dimensional and therefore we can acknowledge that there are many elements to what makes us who we are. To compliment the organic texture given by crochet, there are also injections of other complementary qualities. The delicate sheer crochet designs give a transparency to show the gift of looking inwards, there is nothing more important in the journey of self-discovery than the ability to look inwards and reflect constantly. The finishing with embroidery and beading are illustrative of the next chapter, and how we can build on the foundation to create and tell our own story. The embroidery on each piece embodies both past and future with leopard heads as symbols of heritage and the female form surrounded by 8 other women are representative of the eight Akan clans. The little beads highlight the circular journey we take on by leaving home yet finding ourselves coming back stronger and with a deeper understanding of who we are.
“At this NKWANTANAN ( CROSSROAD ), I embrace that I am, because You are.”