Friday, 28 February 2014

French National Archives–historic images of West African textile production.

Now online from the French Archives nationale d’outre-mer are over 5000 images taken before the 1960s in France’s former African colonies. Among the other treasures in this important resource are a number of superb images of aspects of textile production in West Africa. A few highlights are shown below.


“The weaver prepares his thread” Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, 1930-60.


“Young Bobo girl spins thread”, photographer Berthier (Joseph, Louis), Burkina Faso (1945-1961)


“Loom” Burkina Faso, 1959 – some kind of craft training school probably.


“Dyers” photographer Chéron (Georges, Gustave, René) (1882 – ?), Kaya, Burkina Faso, (1908-1934)


“Dyers” – Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.


“Tukolor weavers” photographer Puigaudeau (Odette du) (1894-1991), Selibaby (Guidimakha),Mauretania, 1934.


“Hausa embroiderer”, Niger, before 1930.


“Weaving fibres of “liane floria”” photographer Krull (Germaine) (1897-1985), Bafoussam, Cameroon, 1943


“Diola-Floup weaver” Ziguinchor, Senegal, before 1960.


“Weavers” photographer Verger (Pierre) (1902-1996), Bamako, Mali, 1935/36.


“Weaving bands of ‘galak’” Chad, 1932.


“Weaver prepares his equipment” photographer Marcel Monnier, Bondoukou, Ivory Coast, 1892.


“Sudanic loom” photographer Marcel Monnier, Ivory Coast, 1892.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Exhibition: Born of the Indian Ocean: The Silks of Madagascar at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto


Now Open

Exploring the ROM’s unique collection of Textiles from Madagascar

Middle East / South Asia Special Exhibit case, 3rd Floor Lee-Chin Crystal.

Although an island, Madagascar has never been isolated. Situated in the Indian Ocean, at the crossroads of trade networks, its people have long had close ties to Asia, Africa, and Europe. Nowhere is this more visible than in their vibrant textile arts.

The Royal Ontario Museum is home to one of the world's best collections of silks from highland Madagascar, gathered under the curatorial expertise of Dr. Sarah Fee of ROM Textiles & Fashions. This exhibit takes advantage of this unparalleled collection to explore wildly coloured and patterned 19th-century wraps known as akotifahana. Great works of art, these cloths also had great ceremonial value. The exhibition presents Dr. Fee’s new research into their recent roots in the Indian Ocean... and beyond.


ROM Magazine article (PDF)

In Living Colour: the ROM’s unique collection of textiles from Madagascar

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Cloth of the month: A unique Wodaabe women’s wrapper cloth.


FR556 - Wodaabe women's ceremonial wrapper cloths were usually embroidered on narrow strip woven dark indigo dyed cloth from Hausa weavers in northern Nigeria, and more recently on imported black fabric. However this example, which to my knowledge is unique, is based on a Soninke strip weave stitch resist patterned cloth from Senegal. Collected recently in Mali it dates from circa 1960. In excellent condition. Measurement: 55 inches x 37 ins, 140cm x 94 cm. PRICE: US$475


More details here.

Friday, 14 February 2014

"Fanti Women in Full Dress"


Vintage postcard: "Fanti Women in Full Dress" Photographer Jacob Vitta, Takwa, Ghana, circa 1910