Clothing the Pandemic

A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World

Kente Cloth Mask

In 2020, Africa’s inventive and resourceful tailors quickly went to work helping to produce PPE for local communities, who early in the pandemic lacked face masks. Sewing masks locally further contributed to economic livelihoods and environmental sustainability. Particularly popular in Ghana – and the wider African diaspora – are masks tailored from Ghana’s famous handwoven kente cloth; with its bright stripes and brocaded motifs, such as the chief’s stool shown here, kente cloth face masks instantly communicate African pride and identity.

Unrecorded maker, Ghana


Designed in Accra, Ghana

Made in Accra, Ghana

Woven cotton (kente cloth)

Royal Ontario Museum


Facebook LinkedIn Twitter