Tuesday, 15 December 2009

More Nigerian Textiles...Jukun, Gwari, Yoruba

Just back from a brief trip to Nigeria...
Some of the new posts from our website

CODE #: AS350

Measurement: 84ins x 50ins, 214cm x 127cm

Typical example of the elaborate and complex supplementary weft float patterning once practised by weavers of the Jukun people of the Benue valley in Eastern Nigeria. Collected some years ago in the vicinity of the Jukun capital of Wukari. Jukun cloths are not well documented and are rarely available on the market. This piece is in excellent condition and dates from 1950-60. It may be compared to a piece collected in 1965 illustrated in Sieber "African Textiles and Decorative Arts" (MOMA 1972 page 188.)

CODE #: AS353
PRICE: US$1100
Measurements: 78ins x 57ins, 198cm x 144cm

Superb and rare early C20th woman's wrapper. Each strip combines fine hand spun indigo checked "etu", "guineafowl pattern," with magenta "alaari" - silk from the trans Saharan trade. It would have been an extremely expensive and prestigious cloth in its day. In searching for these early cloths I look for pieces where all the original hand stitching is intact, as here. After almost a century many have begun to come apart at the seems and been restitched using a sewing machine, often in a less than careful way. Intact pieces like this have a pleasing completeness but are extremely rare. Dates from circa 1900-1920 and is in excellent condition.

CODE #: AS349
Measurement: 65ins x 32ins, 164cm x 81cm

Woman's wrapper from the Gwari people of central Nigeria - the once obscure and remote Gwari ancestral homeland is now the site of the modern Nigerian capital of Abuja and many Gwari farmers have been displaced. These are among the strangest cloths to be found in Nigeria. Woven for the Gwari by weavers of Hausa ancestry the hand spun indigo dyed strips have regular rows of open work, broken up at a few places by blocks with a different openwork arrangement. The woven strips are then joined using a complex braiding technique that adds a long narrow open area between each strip except at the lower edge. This treatment of strips is as far as is known, unique to the Gwari. It creates a strange highly textural cloth that is oddly appealing. In excellent condition dates from around mid C20th or earlier.

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