Thursday, 13 September 2012

Minimal Two – more Ewe “kente”


In this series of posts I will highlight some rare West African textiles where the elaboration and complexity of design that usually typifies high status textiles is replaced by a more minimal aesthetic….


Ewe659 - Superb example of a rare wide band weft faced style of Ewe chief’s cloth in exceptional condition. Dates from the late C19th or early C20th. This type of Ewe weaving is completely unresearched, although Venice Lamb does illustrate a possibly related piece with a more simple design (1975:186) she saw in Kpotoe but suggests may have been imported from the North. In my view however these cloths are clearly the work of weavers in eastern Ghana or Togo and form just one of a number of apparently anomalous cloth traditions from the eastern and northern periphery of the Ewe speaking area. I have collected a number of small women's cloths in similar styles, and seen several men's cloths that were too stained and damaged to purchase, but this is the only complete men's cloth in the style that I have seen. Hand spun local white and indigo dyed cotton in two shades in combined with imported red and mustard yellow cotton thread. Condition: The cloth is complete and intact, with its original hand stitching and no stains and holes. Size: 115 ins x 52, 292cm x 131.


Click on the images to enlarge.

For more information please visit our gallery of Ewe textiles here

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