Snail's Postcard Post

African Textiles


One of my favorite things to look at is an assortment of textiles. Such eye candy!
IMG_6409The cover of this postcard book features a detail photo of a lamba, a rectangular woven silk that men and women wear wrapped around their shoulders in Madagascar. This one’s from the early 20th century. IMG_6410Detail of a wool and cotton blanket (kereka) from the Mopti region of Mali. The Mopti region–a Malian state, if you will–lies in the Sahel, the band across Africa where the Sahara desert transitions into the Sudanian Savanna. (Not to give a geography lesson, but it seems like a good idea to consider climate when looking at blankets.) It was made by a Fulani weaver. The Fulani (also called Fula) are an ethnic group spread all over Africa, I’m guessing because of their herding and trading heritage.  IMG_6411Detail of a cotton and wool blanket made in Laghouat, Algeria in the early 20th century.  IMG_6412

Detail of cotton cloth from the Ivory Coast commemorative of International Women’s Year, declared by the U.N. in 1975.IMG_6413Detail of a cotton skirt. Dyula people, Kong village, Ivory Coast.
The Dyula have thrived as a Muslim merchant caste noted for their religious tolerance as they established vast trade routes across kingdoms and commercial centers such as Kong, the capital of the Kong Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. 


Detail of a cotton wrapper (pelete bite)from Abalama, NigeriaIMG_6416Cotton blanket from MaliIMG_6417Kanga from Kenya.
Kangas are like rectangular bandanas, mostly worn by women, with proverbs printed on them. The postcard doesn’t have a translation of this jina (literally name, the kanga’s message). If you can read it, please comment! 

For another dazzling, informative textile postcard book, check out this one on Navajo weaving.

This entry was published on August 18, 2013 at 10:37 am. It’s filed under Art and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “African Textiles

  1. Pingback: Paul Jacoulet | Snail's Postcard Post

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