AD273 - "Sun bebe" was among the rarest and most interesting of the classic adire eleko designs. Traditionally Yoruba women wore many strands of beads around their waist beneath their wrapper cloth. This design is said to represent the sounds of the beads shaking and rubbing together as a woman dances and had a clearly erotic connotation.
That aside the dynamic design and the concept of visually representing sounds in this way are of considerable interest. This superb version is notably well executed with a good variety of designs very neatly drawn, and is an unusual variation where the blocks of pattern are separated by a wide undecorated dark blue line, a framing effect that adds much to the graphic impact of the piece. A similar cloth in the collection of the National Museum of African Art, Washington can be seen in their 1997 booklet Adire: Resist-Dyed Cloths of the Yoruba. In excellent condition, dates from circa 1960. Measurement: 77 inches x 68ins, 195 cm x 172.
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